I recall the first time I laughed at a blind moment - you know an embarrassing moment (we all have them) that was created by blindness. It felt great to take myself lightly and realize it was okay. I've giggled a lot with family, friends, co-workers, and even strangers. To be real, yes I've cried too and also felt some times of overwhelm. However the ratio is much, much more laughter to be sure. As I reflect back I add lightly to my mantra.
Most frequently/random asked questions about Cricket (my guide dog) and me and retinitis pigmentosa/blindness:
How old is my guide dog? Cricket is six as of June 4th. She is healthy and doing well of which I am so very grateful! I have now walked with a guide dog for fifteen years -- boy, does time fly. Sometimes I laugh at the times when I may be navigating in an unfamiliar terrain and out of nowhere comes the question - how old is your dog? Sometimes it takes me by surprise and I have to stop and think a moment. Six. At times, this becomes a person helpful to answering my next question - where is the nearest restroom.
How do you get to work? This is one that sometimes at the most random times someone will ask me! I am fortunate right now that majority of the time my husband Steve is able to take me and pick me up from work. We generally talk about our schedule the night before. If he has meetings and is unable to, then often a friend or cab driver. For years, I used public transportation. For the past six years our home is not accessible to the public transportation. Right now, we also have the fun to have our daughter/soninlaw as backup drivers.
How do you run? I use a tether, a stretchy rope that my friend (and friend that we ran two 1/2 marathons together last year) Shannon made for me. (You can check out her latest post to for a heartwarming message on Christmas. Love her.) My running partner puts one end around in arm and I hold on to the other end. I am able to follow the cue through this tether as well as some verbal cues. I sometimes wonder if I would have the motivation to run on my own if I could? Not sure because for me I love the social part of running.
What can you see? The best way to describe these days is a fuzzy dime and everything around is black. I just bought some new simulated goggles. As you know, a picture is worth a thousand words. Sometimes putting on some goggles that simulate is easier to understand than explaining a fuzzy dime!
I am so excited for 2012. There are some really great happenings to look forward to - some vacations planned, Natalie's graduation, having Natalie, Adam, and Dahlia and Kendall close by, some new and repeat events at our office, back on the bike in a few months, another 1/2 or full marathon, I hope and probably some adventures that I am not even aware of yet. May I live them all with passion, compassion and lightly. In the meantime, enjoying the last few days of 2011.