Friday, April 24, 2009

1 out of 8 Billion

**I've been meaning to write about this in the last few months. Here goes...**

A few weeks before Thanksgiving, my sister, Paula, the mother of two of the children I absolutely adore, called me and gave me some bad news. She informed me that her house had burned to the ground, and they were homeless. Well, of course, because she is my sister, homeless was not even an option. Without hesitation, I moved my sister, her husband, and their two children into our home.

Joseph, who is seven-years-old, insisted on sleeping with his auntie every single night. For some strange reason, he preferred to sleep with me over his mom and dad. And because I love him so much, that was alright with me.

Plus, I might as well share the bed with Joseph. I'm not sharing it with anyone else. LOL

Every night before going to bed, Joseph liked to spend about ten minutes discussing the house fire, his day at school, and desires he had for the future. He also liked to ask me all types of weird questions. But hey, he's 7. There are no silly questions when you're 7.

Well, this particular night that I'll never forget, Joseph lied in my bed in silence. Finally, he called my name. I already knew he had a question for me.

Joseph: Ann, how many people are there in the world?
Me: I don't know Joseph. Maybe 8 billion...

I expected another question. But he didn't say anything else. Then finally, after a few minutes, he broke his silence.

Joseph: You're the only one in the whole world that's blind?
Me: Um, no.
Joseph: Well, where are the other blind people? Where do they live?
Me: What?

I was like, "What in the world is he talking about?" But then I suddenly realized that I am the only blind person that Joseph knows. I'm likely the only blind person he's ever seen before.

I grew up seeing Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles on television. But Joseph's generation doesn't see that many images of blind people on television anymore. Ray has passed away. And Stevie pretty much comes out for very special occasions. So, in Joseph's little head, it really does seem like I'm the only one in the whole wide world that's blind.

Joseph found it necessary to squeeze in one last question before falling asleep. He touched my face so endearingly and asked, "Why did God make you blind and let everybody else see?"


No, that's not how I responded. I just explained to him that God didn't make me blind. And then I explained to him that there are thousands of blind people who live all over the world. I told him that one day, I'll take him to go meet some children that are blind, so that he can meet children that live life like his auntie. I reassured him that even though most people can see, I'm okay with being blind.

Before he could muster up another question, I gave my love the benediction for the night.

**Quick thought... Whenever I leave this world and go to be at rest, my nieces and nephew will have a treasure of memories that I will have left them on this blog. That's great!!!**


Becky Andrews said...

What a sweet post - you are right for many we are their only experience with someone who is blind.

risingsun said...

I had a fellow employee at the company where i work ask me " why is one eye a different color than the other? I told him about the accident i had as a child.

I've come to welcome it when people have a genuine question about my appearance. Because it has been a practice for me in accepting myself and living genuinely.

Keep teaching the young one's. There going to be smart, well rounded individuals. They will be the teachers and torch bearers for a better world.

God Bless everyone.