Saturday, April 4, 2009

Then and Now

I am not really sure why Easter time affects me like this but I usually call it my time for remembering and thanking. This is the time of year when I go back in time and remember what I had, and then thank God for what I have. What am I referring to?

Up until five years ago I had enough vision to do so much on my own, but a wicked turn of events conspired against me. In the matter of just a few months it was all taken away from me. Today I sit here with precious little sight but am extremely grateful that I still have enough to see the light of day.

My life has changed drastically over the past five years, and I have had to make so many adjustments in order to remain independent. But that's okay. What keeps me going are those wonderful memories that I captured while my vision was good enough. I consider myself to be extremely lucky because there are not many persons who can obtain new vision after being born with precious little. I am one of the few, and I shall share some of my precious moments with you.

In my hay day as I like to refer to it, I was able to read and write with the aid of special magnifying glasses. I used to play air hockey, ice skate on my own, jog along the sidewalk, and enjoy the wonders of nature. I was able to watch the sun come up over tall buildings and set below the line of the horizon. I could see the trees bending and bowing, the flowers swaying gently in the wind, and squirrels scrambling over snow banks. I could watch my favorite hockey team on TV flying up the ice in their red jerseys. I was able to see the blue skies with puffy white clouds chasing each other. I could see the fat white snowflakes falling gently to the ground, the thick green grass, and kids playing innocently in the park. I was able to admire the gorgeous orange plumage of my beloved Scottie Bird, my canary, and see the faces of my family.

One of my favorite memories is that of the silver Air Canada Jet floating lazily over a jade green Caribbean sea with the sun streaming down from above. Another is that of a beach with white-capped breakers rolling gently towards golden sand and pleasure boats laden with merrymakers. Yes, those were good times! I miss them, but it's not the end of the world. I can go on for pages, but I think that by now you are getting the picture. My world today is very different.

Now I have to depend on my senses of smell and touch to help me along. I use my memories to help me picture such things as layouts of stores and restaurants. I use my memory to picture what others may look like. I can find my way around familiar territory based on my memory of what it looks like. I may not be able to play air hockey anymore, but I have taken up chess as a substitute. I still ice skate but now I have to depend on someone else to guide me. I still enjoy movies but now I have to listen more attentively to what's going on. I use my sense of smell and touch to tell me if food is either going bad or if a fruit is rotting. Before now I was able to use my sight to do this.

You see, my world has changed but I am still here -- alive and well to tell the story. My message to you is this: There is always a silver lining in those thick dark clouds. If something is taken way from you, then it is always possible to find a substitute. Be thankful for what you had and what you have.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your accessibility and special-needs business consultant wishing you a terrific day and urging you to enjoy life no matter what.

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