Thursday, January 21, 2010

Being an Official Blind Person, Day Three

Did I tell you I got my cane? I got my cane. I showed my mom and it made her cry. So then I made her hold it. And then I walked around the living room with it. And then I gave it to Harrison and he walked around the living room with it. And then I took a picture of my cane and blew it up to poster size and framed it and hung it on her wall. Because I'm cruel and heartless.

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.


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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.

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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.

11 comments:

Heidi said...

Can I take a picture of you in the shirt I got you for Christmas and your cane for you profile FB picture?

Becky said...

I love that you are documenting this week! So many emotions and my mom could totally relate to what you are describing your mom is feeling!

Michelle said...

wow you are so amazing! It must be SO hard to learn to use a cane, and just adjust to the fact that you need a cane!

You are so strong! Your mom ought to be so proud of you!

witticism here said...

You will appreciate my irreverance, but that last paragrah of the first section sounds like the makings of a damn fine country song.

Luann said...

Keiko is on to something, Renee. A country song that could be the theme music for your documentary.

Cassandra said...

Hey, I'm up for country songs.

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Renee, can you bedazzle your cane?

monika said...

bedazzling it would be cool. If she doesn't want to then we can just do it for her when she's sleeping and she'll never even know ;)

mrsmouthy said...

What Anonymous said has really made me think more deeply about your post. Thank you, Anonymous.

Anyway, I think I'm getting too caught up in the spirit of things because when you wrote "I walked into a plant" I envisioned you walking into a PLANT because you couldn't see it.

Sorry 'bout that.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for making me cry. Your mom is pretty amazing. It would be so hard to see your child go through what you are going through. Keep up all the great work. - Heather