Today, which happens to be Valentines Day of 2018, I was greeted with a loving card from my beautiful wife. Now, that isn’t really that abnormal on this holiday, however, my favorite part of the card was that my wife found a card that I could actually read without my magnifying glass or digital magnifier.
As simple as it sounds, these are the little adjustments to our life that continue to happen, not for want but for need. For years, I have been unable to read a greeting card without assistance. The text is just too damn small so this morning, I was elated to have a card that not only touched my heart, but made me smile. Angie’s care to my needs and abilities is one of the 100,000,000 reasons that I love her and am thankful every single day that our paths crossed.
My wife is watching me go blind. She sees every struggle I have. She sees my challenges. She sees my frustrations. She sees me losing parts of myself as my sight deteriorates. She sees me at my lowest points. Through all of that, she stands strong. She applauds my efforts and notices my drive to adapt.
Now, in a recent discussion, she asked me “How would you handle it if I was losing my sight?” Well, i would handle it with .001% of the grace, understanding and compassion that you are handling it with. I’d be furious. I’d be wanting to do everything for you, just so you wouldn’t feel frustration or challenge but in doing so, I’d ultimately hinder. Because without growth, one who is facing any disabling element, can not adapt and flourish. Without frustration and anger, we can’t find a new way of doing things and that is what it’s all about when your world is rapidly changing.
I am a lucky man and through all of the shit (and there’s a lot of it), I count my lucky stars to have my wife and two amazing daughters by my side each and every day. Now, I don’t want to discount all of the people in my life that are there for me, because they are all amazing. However, these 3 girls are in the trenches with me every day, through it all.
February is “Low Vision Awareness Month” and I hope that if you encounter someone who can’t see well this month, or any day in the future, you’ll have just a bit more understanding to the battles, challenges and loss they are dealing with. It’s hard not to see well and quite frankly, it sucks. If you see someone using their phone holding a white cane, don’t pass judgment because there are TONS of tools that a phone can provide a person with low vision. If you see someone struggling to read a menu, lend your good yes to help. If you see someone struggling to find the right item at the store, offer your assistance as i’m sure just getting to the store was a challenge.
My new favorite quote, recently shared by a friend who suffers from Retinitis Pigmentosa as well, is:
“Loss of sight has lead to my clearest vision”
Stay strong and battle on.