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Friday, February 20, 2009

Stop, and feel the roses

So many things are taken for granted. I am at fault with this as well. I take many, many things for granted. I appreciate what I do have, I try to really understand I am lucky, but I know I have many things I do not appreciate in my life like I really should.

I had both kids in the car with me, and we were on our way back from picking up a prescription at Walgreens in Chino. We were stopped at the Central/Philadelphia intersection. I was the first car at the red light. Those of you familiar with the Chino area, know this is a pretty busy intersection, a major light intersection. Something caught the corner of my eye to the right. I take a glance and see a blind gentlemen. What caught my eye was the glare off of his walking stick, it was metal. I am saying he was blind, only because I am making that assumption due to the fact that he was looking up in the air, away from the ground.

Sitting at the light, I was hoping it would stay red longer. I wanted to see him move, and watch him walk, and see how his other senses picked up his surroundings. I am so intrigued by this now. He walked right up to the traffic light pole and pushed the button to cross the street. I don't know how he knew it was time for him to cross, maybe because he heard and felt the cars move alongside him. He began to cross Central Ave. As he made it to the curb, I thought, "How does he know he is walking straight?" How did he not end up in the middle of the intersection?

He then proceeded to cross Philadelphia Ave, in the same manner. He walked perfectly centered in the crosswalk. He made his way up the curb, and on he went and made himself comfy on the bus bench, folded his walking stick, grabbed his iPod out of his backpack and grinned from ear to ear as the sun shined on his face and tears began to run from mine. I thought, "Gavin is going to be just fine." Although I know this deep in my heart, to have it validated by seeing a vision impaired young man right in front of me cross a major intersection was huge. This man was independent, he had a destination, or was coming from somewhere. I wanted to talk to him so badly. Did he work? What did he do?

What could he say to me, a new mom walking a very new unpaved road in my life? A road so unfamiliar to me that I didn't know of any other mothers who have been down this similar road. I'm not afraid of the road, I respect the road. It's new, it's challenging. I want to walk this road before Gavin does. I want to move the rocks so he doesn't trip. I want to move the brush away, so he doesn't have to slow down. This young man, walked the intersection with more confidence than I would have. I understood it is up to me and Troy to not allow rocks, shrubbery or unpaved roads to stop my son. We will show him, he is able to do everything! It will be done differently, but not effortlessly. He will show me what it feels like to have the rocks be under my feet, and the shrubbery rub against my shoulder, because until now, I have just stepped over the rocks and moved out of the way of the shrubs. They were in a sense, a menace. My focus was getting down the road to my destination, quickly and as short as possible. Such is life! I do not relish in the feeling and the surrounding sounds. I don't stop to really smell the roses. I like to say I do, but do I really? I am the type that takes on a lot. I like to stay busy. I enjoy it. My new focus now is allowing myself to just be, I am seeing things already in a different light, and its a beautiful world out there!

Walk outside and close your eyes. Not just for a few seconds, really sit oustide for a few minutes. Don't just feel the breeze, smell it. Don't just smell the flowers, feel them. I have been trying to understand the world as my son will be experiencing it and is experiencing it. Life is very loud! We have turned down our voices a lot in this house, even sometimes our laughter is too loud for Gavin. A loud outburst sometimes scares him, as do many babies, but I think especially to him since he can't see the smile behind the noise.

Life is also very beautiful. Be thankful you get to exprience it with your eyes, your skin, your ears. I am so lucky my senses are all intact. I am even luckier to understand that I am lucky. I do not take this for granted. I am experiencing my surroundings in a different way so I can begin to understand my son and relate to him in his world. His world is a beautiful thing. Although he may not be able to see it very well, it is just as exciting to him to feel it. His eyes light up when I touch his face, he smiles back at me with reassurance he is loved. He sees my face through having his hands feel it, he feels me next to him, and I am starting to understand touch in a very different way.

I am so grateful for my health, but I am even more thankful for my son. Gavin has shown me just in this short time here with us so far, so much more about life, and so much less about vision. His world is just as it should be, to him. To him, he doesn't know what he is missing. In turn, he is helping me to feel things about our world, and about life in a way maybe I have been missing. Going too fast, overlooking the world beside me and under my feet. We are on a new road as a family. I want him to one day walk with confidence, his head held high, and take on that intersection. We will all be walking that road with him, and I am so glad he will show me about this whole other world out there besides the eye candy stuff. I am so grateful, I, in turn can show Landon and help to experience life outside of sight. It will be challenging. It will be difficult, but our road has just begun. I look forward to the rocks, the shrubbery as well as the flowers and sounds of fluttering wings of birds along the way.

The menacing road blocks will be seen in a different light on our road, a road I know I am very luck to see. I do know, however, I am even luckier we have a son that will show us there is more to the road than seeing where it ends.

1 comment:

  1. Found your blog through my sister Bridget. I met you at Joanna's wedding. This was a truly amazing post and it is totally true. We usually do take for granted all those things. You are such a great mother. I admire you for your strength through all this. Your son is so lucky to have you.

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