Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir Monday

The Horse and the Bird

Last week I answered a question on the subject of:

National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

This time I share some pivotal moments and events in my journey.

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Q: What are some significant moments/events in your life that connect to disability?

A: When I would sit down at my school desk the first thing I would do was put on my glasses and the world would come into a sharp focused clarity. I was ready for the day to start. I was ready to learn with my peers.

I loved art and I loved to draw. We were learning shading in our seventh grade art class. I used my dark, thick pencil, like I used to write my spelling tests and my French assignments, and I started to draw a picture of a horse. I needed this darker, thicker pencil, but I was then abel to complete the art assignment like all the other kids. I had been born blind and did not remember what it was like to be anything other than what I was. I had come this far and I had done okay.

On my last day in art class before that all changed I had the large piece of white paper on my desk in front of me and my pencil ready. I had been so proud of my horse and my teacher had been pleased. Now he told me to try drawing a picture of a bird. It was the end of class and I had barely started, only the first outline, of the bird’s head, when the bell rang and I put my barely begun picture away until next class.

A few days later I was admitted into the hospital, after a bad night of the worst pain I had ever experienced, a hard pain that felt like it came from somewhere deep behind my left eye. Now it was necessary to admit me to find out the cause. I would stay in hospital for a week, receiving continuous IV’s and diagnostic tests, trying to stop the mysterious disease that was taking over my already limited eyesight.

By the end of the year I had my left eye removed and an artificial eye made. The pain was gone and the highly potent medicine had been the only thing to stop me losing all the precious vision I still had.

I see this as a turning point in my life. No longer could I place a pair of glasses on my face and find the kind of clarity and focus that I once knew. I had been blind all my life, but this was the first time I truly understood what that meant.

From then on I learned to live without the colour and clarity and bright sharp focus that even I had taken for granted. I miss those things every single day and there was no hiding in the world of the sighted like I had been able to pull off, even a little bit before, but I will never forget that shaded horse and those first few lines that would have been a bird.

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Next week, for the:

Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge,

I will answer this question:

Are your activities of daily living effected by disability? If you’re comfortable, share a little of your daily routine.

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