I’ve known for many years I would be writing about my experiences as a mother of a deaf child. I never knew exactly what I’d be writing about, our story is much different from originally thought. Mitch was a very dynamic child at a very young age, a mouth full of teeth filled a smile from ear to ear, a spark in his eyes that lit the room. A personality that was magnetic from the beginning. As I embark on this journey so much emotion floods back to me, I know some memories will be tough. We were scared, hopeful, worried at times and just taking one day at a time. I was a young mother when Mitch was born, I was one month shy of 25 years old, had two other children, Tyler, 5 and Tandi, 3 1/2. I was married almost 7 years to my high school sweetheart, Andy, to whom I am still happily married today. My husband and I owned a dairy farm and our children enjoyed us both at home everyday, still we worked very hard together. To be thrust into such a busy life with raising three young children, milking cows, and at such a young age to find out that our youngest baby was deaf could have been a huge devastating turning point in our lives. And in fact it was a turning point in our lives. With many decisions to be made, limited resources for us, no internet to connect with others, we knew we were in for something with a special-needs child, but never knew the impact this child would make on our lives and so many others. And trying not to let this overshadow our two other children was a handful to say the least. I’m sure they felt like second-fiddles at times, how could they not.
I always felt Mitch would be able to hold down a job, probably living close to home, hopefully on his own. But I would have never dreamt he would be as successful as he has become. I’m still not sure if we had any effect on his future or was he destined to become self-sufficient and so entrepreneurial all on his own. He dreams big, the sky is the limit, gets what he wants and makes his own path in life. He has traveled throughout North and South Americas, a bit in Europe, and various other tropical areas doing what he loves. Most of the time he is paid to travel to these places shooting videos. He was once described by a blog writer ; ” Mitch is a person who creates his own success. He has earned global respect as a teacher, videographer, producer, and director. He is an avid scooter collector, scuba diver, sky diver, stand-up paddle board enthusiast, surfer, hockey player and pro wakeboarder; who is sponsored by Humanoid Wakeboards. He is a GoPro expert. I’ll add in at the time of this writing he has in excess of 70 million views, climbing monthly, and over 300,000 subscribers to his GoPro YouTube channel “micbergsma” and he is part of the “GoPro family” which means he gets in on all the happenings with GoPro in San Francisco.
At a very young age Mitch told me that he had the photographic “eye”. He sees things in a way that become great videos. He has a love of sports, water, animals, cameras and nature. Around ten years old he played hockey which then brought him to watersports, wakeboarding specifically, he then became a Pro Wakeboarder. He bought a GoPro camera to take action shots while he and his friends were wake boarding. He fell in love with this small camera and all it could do. Combine those action-packed activities with someone who has the “eye” and you get some awesome footage. One thing led to the next and today he is a very successful videographer who has multiple ways he makes a living using all these God-given gifts to their fullest.
Stay with me as I reminisce on the joys, tears, worries and fears through the years.