It was an Easter Sunday like no other. The Bear and I tootled down to the Cathedral in my home town, one of the ‘Parish Church Cathedrals’. As such, it is small – no high tower, no soaring pillars, no Victorian screens dividing nave and chancel (we can spot a good bit of Scottery a mile off – George Gilbert Scott’s Gothic Revival interventions are supremely distinctive. . . ), so the acoustics were pretty much perfect: nowhere for sound to disappear upwards, no vaulting for the sound to bounce off, nothing to cut the choir off from the congregation.

It was an uplifting service, and we needed it: that evening, my mobile rang just as my father and I arrived at the hospital. It was actually the ward sister asking us to hurry, for my mother was deteriorating. Not only did we have a conversation, but I also heard the relief in her voice, as I explained that we were literally on our way in.

We rushed in, and, just over an hour later, I heard my mother’s last breath. Amongst all the benefits of having a CI this was, perhaps, the least expected, but the most treasured. She had a good long life and never stopped hoping that somehow I would be able to hear again. That she lived long enough to see it happen is something I am grateful for.

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