Marty's a hummer. I don't mean that in a pejorative sense, I mean it in a literal sense. She hums all of the time.
Many stroke patients develop some sort of outward affect, some kind of involuntary verbal or physical symptom as a result of the brain damage. When you think about the damage done to a person's brain cells by the stroke it's not surprising. The stroke simply realigns everything.
When Marty first started recovering from her 2nd stroke she would cry a lot. It wasn't with tears or sobbing or wailing, it was vocal crying. To this day I don't know if this was voluntary, involuntary, conscious or unconscious. She certainly had every reason to cry and she didn't seem to be able to control it. It wasn't 100% of the time, but there was a lot of the crying affect, in particular if her mind wasn't otherwise occupied. I became somewhat desensitized to the whole thing, but it was a very emotional issue for all and could be quite disconcerting to the uninitiated. This lasted for several months and I found myself singing with Marty whenever we went to the Doctor's office to keep her distracted. An occupied mind helped and that wasn't easy.
The crying evolved into, "oh, oh, oh”, a lot of "oh, oh, oh." This was better than the crying but it could be very distracting and just didn't allow us to go anywhere that required quite time. Marty, I don't think, was ever even aware she was saying "oh, oh, oh."
"Oh, Oh, Oh" eventually evolved into a quite, sort of rhythmic humming. It's not musical; it's more like white noise. I suspect some people might find it a bit bothersome, most are not even aware. I'm the one most attuned to it. I know for a long time I worried about it bothering others. When we went to church one Sunday I cautioned Jimmie, our Minister, not to be offended if Marty started humming. He just looked at me, turned to the congregation and told them if Marty started humming it was okay, given what she had been through. Amen brother, Jimmie helped with the burden.
I have grown fond of the sound; it's actually soothing at this point. I think when Marty holds Noah and hums he kind of digs it too, it’s like this low constant noise that is somehow comforting. When Marty's humming I know she is there and doing okay. When Marty is humming I know she is breathing, I know she’s alive. Today, when Marty is humming, I can hum too. It's one more gift from the stroke, it's what she does, and it’s now what we do.