Surviving

Feeling the warmth of the sun on a cloudy day. A glimpse into a blind billy goat's unique, ever changing perspectives.

2015 06 12 Just Another Friday June 12, 2015

Another Friday is upon us, and as another week winds down, June is nearly half over. I know I’ve written about how fast time flies by, and how fast opportunities come strolling down the sidewalk in front of your home, but some times I feel as if without my sight, how am I supposed to realize all these things going on around me?

I’ve heard that with vision loss comes a heightened existence of your other senses. I realized this first hand during the first year or two of darkness, perhaps mostly because I was receiving extensive orientation and mobility lessons.

Gang Way! Biggie Billy G with a cane coming atcha!

Seriously though, I did notice my hearing, my smell, my sencing of items around me, they all seemed to jump up a couple notches, and believe me, it helped me more than a few times as I swept through the sidewalks and intersections of Waterville. One step at a time, one sweep of the cane after another, with an incredible teacher standing guard over my progress.

So much of my life changed way back on that July day in 2010. So much of my life seemed completely lost, and what wasn’t lost, stood a few feet from me, arrogantly smiling, knowing full well it was just out of my reach. I hated that feeling most of all. Most times, when I would work towards these things and finally place my hand on them, they didn’t seem the same. They didn’t have that shine, or that shape, or that sense of belonging to me. I was a visitor in a foreign land, full of never ending change that I wasn’t prepared for.

Life though, continued moving ahead, and so did I.

I didn’t really know what to do, so I just kept doing whatever presented itself to me. It’s amazing to think back and understand what was really happening with me. As my life suddenly changed, so did the opportunities that presented themselves. I was a first grader all over again. I understood that there was a lot I didn’t understand, so I stood out next to the mail box, with my cane, and waited for the school bus to take me to the rest of my life.

The rest of my life. When you say it and think about it, it sounds very open ended. It sounds like amidst the anxiety of the unknown, there’s a feeling of excitement, a feeling of incredible opportunity that jumps out and asks if you’re ready or not. Ready? Me? Ready for what?

Funny thing, these obstacles full of opportunity. Dare to tread through the frightening narrows and you just might be surprised. I know I have been.

Complacency put a halt to my life experiences many, many times. I was comfortable, and anything out of the ordinary threatened that comfort to the point where I would turn and walk away, cowering back to my little, comfy place.

That was probably the most important thing about me that changed, and I’m here to tell you, it scared the gummy bears outta me. Fear of the unknown was something I never did well. I’m not saying I did it any better these days, but I put my head down, dug my heels in and did it anyway.

And here I am, a few days older with those experiences that have helped me to become a different man, swiping a white cane as he moves forward.

I have been introduced to an amazing array of inspirational points of light. I’ve been shown a courage that I never knew existed. I have been given the hope and support of a community that so many of the world never recognizes. I am blind, and I am in awe with a sense of admiration that has inspired me as I keep moving forward.

How many ways can I describe the thanks and gratitude that I feel for the opportunities I have been afforded? How many times can I say thanks and show my appreciation? How many of you have lived your lives so that I may come to know the gifts you possess?

Ok, I admit it. I’m rambling once again. As I write this post, there are people out there who don’t ever stop living their lives. Some folks might categorize them as being handicapped. Some folks might see a condition, instead of seeing a life full of life. Some will never understand how strong these people are, how determined and driven and capable and inquisitive they are.

I never did, but I sure as hell do now.

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