1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Happy Hump Day, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes

My 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion Reveal For March

At first I did not know if I would be participating in this months’


topic, which is:


On February 20th I took part in the original 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion.

Planting The Seeds Of Compassion

I was thrilled when I heard it was being carried on and I think choosing a different subtopic every 20th of the month is a brilliant idea. I hope it can continue for a long time to come.

I just didn’t know what I had to offer on the topic of bullying, but leave it to me to come up with my own spin on the subject.

It is a serious thing and I am not one to shy away from writing about something that affects so many.

I wanted to include this article a friend sent me, just today in fact, as a hint of what I plan to talk about on March 20th:


Talk about fate.


I was one of those blind students, once upon a time.

Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir Monday

Love Is Blind

Last week’s Memoir Monday was inspired by a well-known Cyndi Lauper song:

Even Blind Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.

This week, for the

Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge,

Back to business.


Q: Does disability affect you in other ways? If so, how?

A: Sure it does, in ways big and small and in many ways I don’t even really think about or notice so much.

However, in one big way. It affects my dating and my love life.

What am I attracted to? What is attractive to me in the opposite sex?

I have asked myself this many times, and yeah, if I don’t know, who will.


So much of our society hinges on the physical and on looks and appearances, and dating is no exception. In fact, it is high up there.

Love is blind.

Blind date.

There are many common phrases having to do with love and including the word blind.

I had enough sight, in the past, to have gotten a pretty clear picture what my family looked like.

By the time I was old enough to be interested in guys and dating, my vision had declined so much so that looks were not high on the list of priority. How could they be?

Then, if I did feel like I wanted to have opinions and views on what a guy looked like, all in my head, I felt unnecessarily vain. What did it matter for me? Shouldn’t I be the one person that did not matter to?

I have the same sorts of issues in imagining what someone might look like that I might be interested in dating as I do with myself. I try really hard to picture what they look like and how I might feel about that if I could suddenly see.

I’ve often thought, when I’m in a relationship with someone, what would happen if I suddenly got my sight back. Would I have found myself still attracted to that person if I saw them, whereas being unable to see I fell in love with them for other reasons.

Do guys need to feel attractive? Of course they do, but what happens when I am unable to see them to pay them the compliments they may need to feel wanted. I could pay them a compliment about their looks, to make them feel good, but it would not feel natural to me.

I am no good at saying something that I can’t feel to be the case. this isn’t to say I wouldn’t feel that way if I could see, but if I were to say it, in my case, it wouldn’t feel authentically my view.

Has this contributed to past issues in past relationships?

I feel at a disadvantage when dating as a woman who is not immune to the uncertainty of my own physical appearance, like most women. The other person can see me and all my flaws, whereas I see nothing of them.

Does this make me a more accepting and less critical person?

I am attracted to a certain sounding voice, laugh, and many other little verbal cues. I pay close attention to smell. I focus on if our senses of humour match and if I think we will laugh a lot. I have many things I look for and this list has grown, the more experiences I have had.

Maybe most people wouldn’t notice or be bothered by or with these things because they are focused on looks.

Dating is made more difficult at times. I am constantly working on my self-confidence because everyone’s attracted to confidence, both women and men.

I am overly self-aware in public and on dates, nervous at the disadvantage I am clearly at.

I have done okay. I have dated and have been in love. I have had my heart broken and have done the breaking. It feels nice to be normal in that way, is what I tell myself when I am in the midst of that pain and later on when I am out of it.

I can not catch a guy’s eye from across a crowded room. I can not smile at him and make the kind of first impression I would like.

I know a blind woman can be intimidating, in the way that guys may not feel comfortable approaching me. This makes meeting people difficult.

I have the fear, that I had before I dated much, and I have it again now. Will I ever meet anyone again? Will I end up alone? Does my blindness, in the end, does it make me difficult to be in a relationship with for any length of time? Has it cost me relationships in the past or will it cost me any in the future?

These questions and more plague me often, but I don’t know what answers are to be had.

In the end I make due. I make due without the non-verbal and the lack of body language. I deal with the fact that, to most guys who have never known a blind person, the idea of dating a blind girl makes them nervous.

Love is worth looking for and worth searching hard for. It’s worth it.


Next week is a free writing day.

What do you think you might replace with the physical attributes you look for when dating? If you could not see, what things about a person do you think you would be most attracted to and looking for?

Do you agree with the statement: love is blind?

Have you ever been on a “blind date”? How did it go?

Discussions on love and dating are some of my favourite to have, if you can’t tell.


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.


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.


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.

Book Reviews, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir and Reflections, The Blind Reviewer

Mobility Matters

I will lead the blind by a road they do not know. By paths they do not know I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light. The rough places into level ground. These are the things I will do. I will not forsake them.
– Christ

I found the above quote a few months back. Whether you are religious or not, it seemed to me an uplifting statement of a thought. I found

Amy Bovaird

through Facebook and online. Her mention of travel caught my attention and I hope to speak with her more on that in the future. Today, though, I am pleased to be featuring her memoir “Mobility Matters – Stepping Out in Faith” here on my blog.

Check out more on the memoir


and you can visit her Facebook page,



Book Review: Mobility Matters – Stepping Out in Faith

By Amy Bovaird

In “Mobility Matters – Stepping Out in Faith” teacher, author, and ghost writer Amy Bovaird lets the reader in on a particularly difficult year in her life. She is in the midst of a transition from the sighted world into that of living blind.

Pity. Denial. These are the themes found throughout this memoir, but why should others not be pitying us if we pity ourselves? I didn’t know what sort of memoir to expect when I started to read, but I was soon drawn in by Bovaird’s storytelling style of some of the biggest hurdles of her life.

In her Spanish class she disguises her vision loss and develops tricks for getting around her hearing loss.

The Spanish word, “ceiga”, in Spanish literature, meaning destitute, old, and either ill-mannered or helpless woman. She has been teaching others for most of her life. She is about to need a teacher, someone to teach her about white cane travel and that is where blind orientation and mobility instructor Bob comes in.

She has been slowly losing vision for years, but up until now able to brush off the signs and pretend it wasn’t really effecting her life. Her Retinitis Pigmentosa, vision and hearing loss are getting harder and harder to ignore.

She has been to thirty-three countries and has lived in six and she is used to being highly independent. Now it is hard not to feel nothing but pitied. The first time she tries out a white cane and a whole new phase of her life is opened up, even if it takes her a while to see it. The white cane is meant to help the user stand out, but that is the last thing she wants to do. I was abel to relate with that, when all you want to do at times is to blend in and to fit in.

From reading I learned Terms like catastrophizing, a great way of summing up a trap people easily fall into. I could immediately relate to many of Amy’s battles in trying to adapt to a life with less sight than before.

Words like sight, vision, and seeing are explored throughout this book and the interpretations of each of these words vary with the person. Amy is learning to live with one foot in each world, but learns from those in her life that the two aren’t all that different in the end. These people remind her to, “filter her circumstances through a lens of laughter. This lesson in itself sums up the contents of this book. Even during her worst moments throughout this story humour finds its way in through the cracks of her fear of the unknown.

She finds herself caught in a trap of denial and fear of being honest to those around her and to herself. People like Bob show up and make her see that she can keep her independence, even as she navigates a new world with less and less sight.

This is a memoir of faith, but you do not need to believe in God to be touched by the lessons Bovaird learns along the way. This is a terrific book for anyone losing their sight and fearing an unknown and sometimes dark future or for anyone who wants to understand what it feels like to live in a world without the sight most take for granted.

In her own dark moments, the voices in her head (or Satan, whichever you believe) she hears things such as:

You should have stopped teaching years ago. How did you ever think you’d be a successful language teacher? You’re deaf, you know, and the way you manage your class is pitiful.

Would I ever feel like one of them? Or would my differences always set me apart?

I am sure we all feel that at one time or another, but as I read statements such as these from Amy, I was happy, at least, to learn I am not alone in feeling like the odd one out sometimes.

She speaks of feelings such as, “the hard bitter pit” in her stomach. Just such lines in this book spoke to me when I read them and are incredibly relatable. She can hardly imagine a day when she might feel comfortable with these new changes she is being forced into.

When the principal of her school asks her to speak to the students about her blindness she resists, unable to imagine finding the courage to make her situation public, but she soon discovers that she can teach others in more ways than she ever thought she could.

She slowly reveals her blindness to one student, showing the girl the tools she uses to help her read. The student shows her interest by looking into the magnifier, commenting how looking through the monocle makes her eye tired and a little dizzy, like blindness. It can be hard to trust others with what you are going through, the disorientation of it all. Amy’s story shows that it is important to let others know what it’s like because they truly do not know.

She will find acceptance from her students, the other teachers, and people she runs into everyday.

One of her fellow teachers makes her aware that she is not alone:

  • We’re in this together Amy. God wants to use us all to the best of our abilities. Even when things don’t go as planned, God has his reasons. So don’t let it get you down. Just go forward.
    • By the end of this book Bovaird has come so far in a short amount of time. She leans on her faith in God and realizes the people in her life have been put there for a reason. She has been taught the tools to succeed and has discovered a motivation and the coping skills for success.
  • Amy comes to a crossroads in her life and knows she has what it will take to live the best life possible.

Stand at the crossroadsAnd look; ask for the ancient paths and where the good way is, and walk it and you will find rest.
Jeremiah 6:16, NIV.

Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Writing


I never would have imagined I would be known for being Fierce, but I’ll take it. I am honoured and thrilled to be featured on a lovely lady’s blog today. Check it out here

Bold Blind Beauty: Fierce Fridays

I will be returning the favour in an upcoming post here, where I will speak to her on her much-needed site where she focuses on style for the visually impaired. I will be finding out what made her decide to start a website about the need to bring attention to the visually impaired who deserve to enjoy fashion just as much as any sighted person does, and to dispel the myths surrounding the belief that if you can’t see you won’t care about how you present yourself to the world.

I am looking forward to speaking to her very soon about all of this and sharing it here.


I also wanted to update some of the things I have on the go and hope to bring here in the following weeks and months:

I will be taking the plunge, taking THE WALK. I will be completing the CN Tower’s Edge Walk experience and will live to write about it.

I am writing a few essays, which I hope to submit to sites such as:

Full Grown People

I am still waiting to hear back from a site which publishes stories of female friendship,

Friend Stories

as they have already contacted me once, about a month ago now, to say my essay would be a welcome addition to the site.

This summer I will be writing two short stories, a romance and a sad tale, which I plan to submit to:

The Alice Munro Short Story Competition

and an author anthology, raising money for charity. I am looking forward to having my schoolwork out of the way so I can focus on these projects and this blog.

Within the next few weeks I also hope to have up a Spotlight interview with hair stylist and owner at an amazing salon:

To be found herehttps://www.facebook.com/GLOW.HAIR.STUDIO

All that and much more so stay tuned.


P.S. I wanted to give a shout-out, if she sees this, to my amazing sister who stayed late with me last night, working on improving and adding to the features and the look of this place. Thanks for your help KH.

Memoir Monday

Imaginary Friends

I was the big sister. He would follow me around wherever I went. Sometimes it would drive me crazy, but mostly we were buddies. He was my best friend. We were born three years apart, but we were closer for it. I went first, came first, the blind big sister.
I hope to have a writing career. fiction writing specifically requires a high level of imagination, but growing up, out of the two of us he was the one with all the imagination. I admired that in him, from an early age.
A train, Kool -Aid lid, a circle with handles, a square…he couldn’t see me or the rest of the family and so he would say each of us was represented by an object, one of those concrete items he could touch and understand what it must look like. This was how he saw us in his mind, a boundless expanse I always wished to comprehend. He had a magic about him and I gravitated toward it.
We would spend hours playing, all sorts of childish games, acting out scenarios, skits, and scenes.
Janice, Banice, Bill and Monster Ace. Lots of children have imaginary friends, but not me. I would borrow his, would join in his games with these strange invisible friends.
“When I was a girl and sixteen, I burned myself on the stove.” Lines like this would pour out of my little brother and all listening would laugh out loud at what had just come out of his mouth. He was fairly silent for the first few years, but one day he came to life and suddenly had plenty to say. I was lucky enough to hear it all.
Slide down the glass,
Over the waterfall,
And open the door for James Bond and Gramma.
He was the one creating the stories and the worlds with characters galore. I envied this deep pool of imagination and he grew to be my hero, handling things he saw happen first to me. He could see his future, from age twelve on, and his imagination was needed more than ever to deal with what was to come.
Now he’s just turned twenty-seven and I don’t know where the time has gone. We are just as close as ever, reading each other like books. I miss those two little siblings and the fun and freedom they used to have. Our lack of sight brought us together. Our connection was cemented from those early days. It baffles me and surprises me every day. He will always be there for me and I him.


Memoir Monday: My Fear of Going Blind

It’s recommended that you should get your teeth cleaned every six months and have a routine physical. When you are blind it makes sense to have your eyes checked, or does it? IF they don’t work, what’s there to check anyway? It’s important to make sure they are healthy, or as healthy as they can be, but most times, like everyone else it is easy to get busy and forget to make that appointment. I myself have gone four years now without getting checked by my eye specialist. On the surface there was really no need. Things have been stable and other things in life then take precedent, but it is nice to know someone is there if there ever is a problem.

My biggest fear would have to be losing someone I loved, of course, but my second biggest fear would definitely be losing my sight.
When I say this jokes can be made and assumptions too. I am already blind, but not totally. To me, the idea of losing the little remaining vision I still have is as scary a prospect to me as it would be for anyone else to lose their vision at 20/20. It would effect me in many of the same ways and take away the comfort and familiarity I have come to rely on.

I was born blind, but when I think back to my early childhood I can no longer quite believe how much sight I had compared to now.
I loved to colour and draw pictures and dreamed of becoming an artist when I grew up. I am one of the lucky blind people who knows what colours look like, can remember their brightness and their beauty. I miss them every day.
When I started school I was not sent to a school for the blind and I kept up quite well. I learned to read and write with my peers because I could see large print. I wrote with dark pencils and markers and with thick black lined paper.

I wore glasses until age twelve and they made a world of difference: from a blurry and dim world when I wasn’t wearing them to a whole new level of clarity and focus when I was.
When I was twelve I encountered the first real challenge to my sight that I’d yet faced. Up until that point my small amount of vision was stable. I could not see nearly as much in my left eye as I could in my right; my right eye was my stronger one, yet with tunnel vision. I got by.

I will go further into the troubles I had with my eyes in a later post. For several months things became extremely complicated and frightening and I then found myself coming out on the other side of it all, with less sight and a newly found appreciation for the bit of vision I still had.

I no longer wore glasses because they had no effect. They were useless to me. I was only able to read braille and my hopes of becoming a painter were dashed. things would never again be as they were.

After that I was once again stable. I continued to see my ophthalmologist routinely and everything looked back to normal. There was nothing to see. For the doctors this was clear, but as the years passed I wasn’t so sure.

It might sound silly, but I can’t tell if things have remained stable for my little remaining sight. I see with very little clarity or definition, yet I can still see more than my brother I am sure, who has only ever been able to see light and dark, movements and shadows. I am left to remember fondly what my family look like and with each new person in my life these last fifteen years, only a vague picture is visible compared to the clarity and shape faces used to take on.
I try hard to explain how I see and fall short of it every time. I don’t forget what red, blue, and yellow look like, but I can’t tell whether or not my vision is as bad today as it was ten years ago or even five.

I write this post today because I finally went for it and booked an eye appointment for tomorrow. I am sure he will see nothing new and to him it will be very straightforward, but to me not so much. I want to know for sure what’s going to happen, and as smart and knowledgeable as my ophthalmologist is, I don’t think he’ll be able to answer.

My eye condition is common but my syndrome is not. I hate those unanswered questions: will my sight remain at this level for the rest of my life or will it slowly worsen? Has it slowly worsened over the years? A simple enough question at first glance, but nobody knows; not even me.
Something so subtle and going on over time, over a span of many years. I doubt myself. I try to recall how it used to be and how that might compare to how it is now and I feel more confused than ever.
And then the silly irrational hope that tomorrow he will say there is something he can do if, indeed, it has or is getting worse, something that could bring me back to a time of permanent markers, large print, and bright vibrant colours.

I will try and explain all of this to my doctor tomorrow. I am sure he will do his best to comprehend what I am trying to get across. He’s probably heard it all before. He is a specialist in diseases of the retinas and I am incredibly lucky to have him as my eye doctor, but he isn’t magic. No matter how old I get and how comfortable I think I am with being blind, there’s still that small part of me who hopes, like a child on Christmas, for magic and I fear losing the “sight” I still do have. I know I would adjust, like my brother and friends have, but a world in total darkness remains a huge fear, lurking somewhere, just out of sight.