With the time passing and our life continuing it’s change, we find ourselves tackling massive mountains wearing sandals. We aren’t prepared for these battles, for these acceptances or for the anger that it can bring forth.
I’ve always found value in advice from others that have been through a similar situation. They’ve been down a road that you are headed down, they made decisions and discovered the outcomes. In our particular case, we don’t or didn’t at this time, know a single visually impaired person, besides myself of course. I had joined “support” groups on Facebook in hope of finding some sort of advice or mentor, instead I found angry, sad, depressed, and honestly DEPRESSING people.
Now, I know that who I surround myself with helps to create a desirable outcome so in November of 2017, my first connection was made with someone that I was truly excited about. A colleague of our family business was at the tradeshow in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and we were chatting. Discussions of work, family and life came and went and my comfort with this man was there. I took the leap and told him about my recent diagnosis and what we had in front of us.
He didn’t even act surprised.
Let’s call this man Geoff, and his wife Sharon. Geoff and Sharon had been married for an impressive 49 years and are blessed with a thriving business, healthy children and a growing family. Geoff responded to me with a simple “Awe man” followed by information that floored me.
Sharon, his wife, was raised by two, not one, but TWO visually impaired parents. From what I recently learned, they were blind with very little remaining sight. They raised 6 children and from what I can see in Sharon, they raised some absolutely amazing human beings. The conversation ended with a quick mention of meeting up to discuss Sharon’s experience having two blind parents and to be completely honest, any information she shared, I was willing to listen to.
Fast forward to the beginning of 2018 and I just finished one of the most informational, impacts, touching and motivating afternoons of my life. Geoff and Sharon sacrificed an entire weekend to drive out from their home to stay near us in San Diego. On Saturday, Geoff and Sharon came to our home and we talked… for hours.
Sharon shared her experiences, memories and stories of her unique upbringing and was more than willing to answer my (incessant) questions regarding how it was to have a visually impaired parent as one of my largest worries is how this will affect my daughter and child in mama’s belly. Sharon shared found memories of playing outside, spending quality time together, and being a true, close and tight knit family.
She shared that since her parents were unable to see, that the kids had to probably grow up a little quicker than others but in her mind, that wasn’t a negative. She shared stories of how her Dad would play baseball with the kids and their friends. (Let’s pause here, a blind man playing baseball?) Yes! He would throw the ball up and hit it, sending the kids running to catch the high flying hit.
Geoff and Sharon not only shared their experiences but provided insight. Being parents themselves, they know that we are faced with a slightly different road and offered the word SUPPORT. Support for me, my wife, my children, our family as a whole. Support on the physical and mental level. Support across the board to help us deal with the difference of life we face.
We enjoyed an absolutely amazing afternoon with Geoff and Sharon and I am truly honored to call them friends. People that willing to give and share is rare and their generosity, willingness and compassion will NEVER go forgotten. I titled this post “support” as that is a focus of my wife and I right now. To set it up and have more of it so when the truly bad days happen, we have help… we have support.