Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Touch It

My soon to be three-years-old, absolutely gorgeous, sugary sweet, but occasionally bossy niece, Elyssa, has figured out that her auntie is blind. Her slight awareness of my sight impairment began this time last year. She started to notice how I wouldn't know she was doing certain things right away. She also noticed that it would take me a long time to find something that may be within sight range of someone who had normal eyesight. I could tell that she knew something was wrong with me, but she really couldn't put her finger on it. Well, she's finally figured it out.

Now, if Elyssa wants me to see something, she brings it to me or directs me to come to wherever she is. Once she has whatever she wants me to "see" in front of her, she takes my index finger on whichever hand she is pulling on, and she tells me to "Touch it." It's clear that Elyssa knows that the way her auntie "sees" is by touch. How cute and smart of her!

One day, she asked me what happened to my eyes. How do explain to a two-year-old the cause and outcome of Glaucoma? I don't think you really can. So, I just told her that my eyes were sick. Her next question... "But why?" My response... "Elyssa, I wish I knew the answer to that question."

One day, I will be able to sit down and tell Elyssa all about my blindness and how it has impacted my life. However, I will probably never get a chance to explain why my eyes got so sick. Only God knows the answer to that.

**Elyssa, thank you for helping your aunt see by touch! Love you, pretty girl!!!!!!**

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Quotes I've Come to Love!

**I just wanted to post a few quotes that I've come to love over the years. Perhaps you will think I lack in modesty, but I did post a few quotes that I've also penned in some of my writing. Be inspired!**

"Don't be blinded by what you see." Ms. Angela L. Braden

"I'm a barrel of imperfection, a wardrobe of flaws, a garden of conflicts, an ocean of frailty, and a coppice of ambiguity. When you blend all of that with love and faith in God, I become full of amazing potential to become perfect and beautiful in Him." Ms. Angela L. Braden

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens
us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing
small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest
the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson

"When you come to the edge of all the light you know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on, or you will be taught to fly." Barbara J. Winter

I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” Mahatma Gandhi

"Close your eyes, and take a look around. You just might see what you've been missing." Ms. Angela L. Braden

"Technology cannot replace touchology." Michael Drayton

"Never make a life decision when you're feeling dead tired." Ms. Angela L. Braden

"Borrow a little from yesterday to make today better and tomorrow the best." Ms. Margie Wyatt Braden

"Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future; but Faith is the courage to dance to it today!" Anon

"In all labor there is profit, But mere talk {leads} only to poverty." Proverbs 14:23
"Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit." M. Gandhi

"I am perfectly imperfect." Ms. Angela L. Braden

"In the beginning, GOD" Genesis 1:1

"I will never come to understand a hatred that is so deep that it cripples and maims the human spirit to such a degree that murder, torture, and deprivation of human liberty seems like second hand nature." Angela L. Braden

"Three things cannot be hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth." Buddha

"What would your life look like if fear wasn't present?" Devia Long-Wynn

"Broaden your circle of inclusion. Don’t ever reject someone just because they are different than you are. Everyone is valuable to God, and they should be valuable to us." Joyce Meyer

"Make each day count." Ms. Margie Wyatt Braden

"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." Mark Twain

Saturday, March 10, 2012

It's really been 20 years?

I absolutely cannot believe that I graduated from high school 20 years ago. No matter how much I try to wrap my mind around it, it's hard for me to understand how 20 years stand between the ending of my senior year in high school and where I am today. But it's true... I'm 37-years-old. And so much about me and so much around me has changed since then.

Do I wish I could go back to high school? Absolutely not!!!!!!! That was perhaps the second most difficult period of my life. **I'm currently living in the most difficult. But that's an entirely different post for another time.**

The day I graduated from high school, I sat on the first row of our auditorium and spilled salty tears on my rouge brushed cheeks. I cried because I was so thankful that I was finally getting ready to leave the Texas School for the Blind. I cried because I was so grateful that I was getting the opportunity to begin the life that I wanted to live. I cried because I was so glad to put an emotional partition between my past and future. I cried because I couldn't believe I had actually made it to that point.

My senior year in high school was extremely difficult. A month before school was scheduled to start, my Glaucoma took a turn for the worst. My pressures sky rocketed and stole the little sight I had left. The doctors scrambled, trying to do whatever they could to try to save my sight, but their best efforts failed. I spent the first few months of my senior year, recovering from surgeries and trying to adjust to the darkness that seemed to be smuthering me in more ways than one.

Finally, my mother came to me and insisted that I return to school to finish my senior year. I protested. I wanted to either get a GED or stay in Houston with my parents and attend my local school. My mother refused to go along with my plan. She basically forced me back to Austin so that I could finish what she forced me to do four years before.

When I returned back to TSB, I felt like an orphan. I felt all alone. I felt betrayed. I felt lost. I felt resentful. I felt totally and utterly depressed.

I didn't want anyone to talk to me. I didn't want to do anything fun. And I didn't want to even live.

So, I distanced myself from the few friends I had. I sat in class quietly, avoiding conversation with my teachers. I would come home from school, take a double dose of over the counter cold medicine, and sleep until everyone else was sleep. Then, I would get up and sit in the solitude of the night until the sun revealed itself to me. Seeing the sun was my only hope, being that the rays of the sun was so bright that I could actually perceive its glory.

**I'll post the second half of this tomorrow.**