My little red tether is my anchor in running with my friends. A beautiful guide dog has been my tether/anchor in mobility and independence for 17 years: 1. Pantera 2. Cricket, and now my beautiful 3. Georgina (Georgie). A life of family and friends is my joy and anchor in life.

The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it. CC Scott

Friday, August 22, 2008

Beautiful 'Grey'




One of our employees is going through a very difficult time. We have been getting together each week and pushing through some of the office management duties as well as having many beautiful moments and conversations. Yesterday we talked about experiences and how we at times view them as either bad or good - black or white. In the midst of a challenging time, or difficult loss' it is often difficult to see any good that is in the situation but in time often we do find some positive that is emerging from the experience. She asked me what good had come from my blindness -- I had to stop and think because often I feel I am in the grey area with blindness... it is just my life - don't think much about it just harness up Cricket and off we go! This is a summary of our conversation - she found it helpful so will share it with you -

I told her that when I had to give up driving as a young wife and mom, I gave up the concept of trying to be 'super mom'. I stepped out of the 'competition' - let's face it no one on my street was wanting to be me! At the time, this was really challenging to not be able to cross off everything on the list quickly and run my kids around. I hurt for them and Steve and how this may be impacting them... I didn't want to be a burden on anyone. It was a difficult time but there were many beautiful experiences and lessons learned along the way (and definitely still learning so many things and will preface this with certainly I don't think each day is lovely with or without RP):

Lessons Learned ... Blessings Gained from My Journey of Going Blind ... Retinitis Pigmentosa (unique to each of us)

--Going blind gave me the permission to be 'me' and let go of perfectionism that might be hanging around. Whew, what a relief!

--The joy of Interdependency. I believe because of RP I had to reach out to others and have so many friends that our paths would not have crossed without RP impacting my life. Wow, just that concept makes me so grateful for RP.

--I have wonderful, kind & sensitive children because of who they are but also I believe their journey with a blind mom. I think they were probably more appreciative of turning 16 and being able to drive. They are three of my biggest advocates (so happy to now have a son in law to include!)

-- I was diagnosed with RP when I was dating Steve so we have travelled this journey of vision loss together. (It was a good sign when on one of our early dates we ended up grocery shopping) He has been by my side all the way. I believe this would be the case with or without RP but it has brought us close as we have relied on each other and coordinate each day of transportation, etc.

--RP led me to my career that I love. I became a volunteer in helping others with RP which led me to work at the Moran Eye Center which led me to my counseling practice -- this brings me joy each day.

--Love of dogs -- perhaps I would not have explored the possibility of a dog if it were not for blindness and yearning to be able to walk freely in the world! It is hard to imagine our life without dogs!

When one door of happiness closes, another opens ... (Helen Keller) I am so happy for the doors that have opened in my life since going blind. It felt like a door was slammed shut when I had to quit driving and I began to lose vision but now I realize how many new doors were opened -- one of which in the mode of transportation was a beautiful guide, Pantera and now Cricket!!

2 comments:

Kristy and Dave said...

Becky, that was such a neat blog entry to read! You really are inspiring to me--I've never met anyone with such a positive attitude and it has genuinely helped me better my attitude and outlook on life. Hope everything is going well for you! Keep in touch--Dave and I are all the way down in Phoenix but I'd love to hear from you once in awhile!

P.S. I love dogs too--aren't they the greatest?

Becky said...

Kristy;

How fun to hear from you! Thanks for your sweet post! Love your blog and best wishes in AZ - yes, definitely stay in touch.