Contributed by Avi Laird, Low Vision Coordinator
“I don’t exist when you don’t see me
I don’t exist when you’re not here
What the eye don’t see won’t break the heart
You can make believe when we’re apart
But when you leave I disappear
When you don’t see me…”
~Bruhn, Andreas / Taylor, Andrew
Oft we miss what we do not see, what we cannot see or what we refuse to see. And often, people either do not show, or hide symptoms of a disability. Sadly, to say out-loud, “I am a person with a disability,” is somehow is looked down upon or stigmatized in our society. Or inversely looked upon as some sort of hero-worship, if a person that has a disability can do it, then so can I. Or worse yet, dismissed with a single thought, “Even I can do that…”
In the dark of night, we feel all that is negative seemingly enter us and we become alone.
Many of us become guilty of no longer talking or visiting “those people” as they take too much time, or we feel if we hurry through this for them, it will somehow get to the point we used to be. We find it easier to complete their sentences or finish other things they have started. We rush to have things like they were before.
It is the same with any disability or loss. It will never be “the same.” It will be different and it is almost certainly unfair.
Then we think, perhaps there is hope, and we expect that anything is possible. It is further possible, we reason, you did not abandon us because of what we cannot do; but rather there was another reason, and we begin to see the light.
We no longer will sit in the shadows lonely; we start slowly feeling, reaching, learning anew, and move to become independent. Adaptation revolves around a variety forms, and for those who feel the light begin to slowly warm their rightful place, we now envision a world where put in our rightful claim: we belong!
The simplest of ideas, now are reached with a friendly hand, or planned into smaller bits that progress naturally, almost unnoticed. We can visualize when you honorably come back to “see” us again. We dutifully and even loving accept you. Perhaps our lives will look upon a time when we foresee that blossom; and will not be who you left, but rather who we become.
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Be sure to check back next Friday for a new post on what’s happening at PACE.