My mom doesn't like the cane. She knows that it will give me independence, and she knows that it's important that I learn how to use it, but she also knows that this makes me Official. Sighted people don't use canes. Blind people do. Renee, therefore, is blind. As though me bumping into walls wasn't proof enough.
I understand what my mom is going through, though. It must be hard to see your child adapt to a condition you didn't plan for. I cried for a full day when Lennon got her glasses. By comparison, my mom is being Sigourney Weaver tough. Let's all applaud her. Okay, that's enough. I'm the one who has to spend a year learning how to use the damn thing.
The cane is going to let me walk safely. The cane is going to be an indicator that the path is clear. It will help me get my bearings. It will become a part of how I get around this world. Please don't cry, mom. I need this to become the person I want to be.
As a part of the class I am in, I went to a couple of production and distribution plants that hire blind workers. Even though I wasn't looking for a job there, so far, it's been the highlight of my week. I sit in my house every day thinking about what I can't do. I can't drive. I can't walk at night. I can't go into crowded areas. I can't keep my elbows bruise-free. So I walk into this plant where there are five men assembling portable surgery stations for the military, and they are, like I said, totally blind, and I just have to kick myself a little bit. "Can't" is no longer allowed in my vocabulary.
I already knew that there were blind teachers and blind counselors and blind IT techs and blind piano players and so on and so forth, but seeing these guys in action gave me a brand new confidence. I think they'd do the same for you. I'm thinking about a documentary. Seriously.
I have a lot more hope today than I did yesterday. I joke with some of my friends that the class can be boring at times, and that being around people with depressing stories can make me pretty depressed too, but you know, that is such a small part of how I am reacting to this week. I really feel my life changing for the better. There are people ahead of me, who have been through the same program, letting me know that the terrain is clear. I now know how I am going to find my way in this world. I'm about to take a step in the right direction.