Sunday, July 27, 2008

Count Your Blessings

Just when you think you have it rough, when you think you are down to your last dollar or you've eaten your last scrap of food, or you're feeling sorry for yourself and you're moanin' and groanin' about life, along comes someone who has it far worse than you, and still manages to smile and laugh and enjoy life.

I crossed paths with an old acquaintance today, someone I hadn't seen in over 10 years. A lovely girl who has fallen onto hard times and has found herself in the hands of bad luck more times than I can count. Abusive relationships, drugs, health woes and more health woes. She has cleaned up and straightened up her life, but the damage has been done. She faces permanent blindness in a few years and has already had her driver's license taken away which equates into her independence being taken away.

She is traveling now, taking in all the sights and faces of old friends before she cannot see them any more. She asked me if I could show her around the property, saying she likes the trees and nature. She asked me to describe the scent of pine, because she has no sense of smell. When the sun hit her face, she said she likes the feel of the sun, the warmth on her skin. She knows that's one thing she will still have after she loses her sight-- the warmth of the sun.

She cannot hear, and said the one thing she wishes, is to be able to hear the voices of her children. She is so proud of her kids and told me that they accept her the way she is, that they love her as she is. I know it will be hard for her to not be able to see their faces and only use her hands to know them.

She has learned to accept herself as she is, though she is self-conscious of her "flaws". Once you get to know her, those flaws fade into the background and all you see is her wonderful, bubbly personality. You can't help but like her and want to keep the conversation flowing.

My problems seem so small compared to hers. I have my family. We have our health. We own our home. We can see and smell and drive our cars. There is no abuse here. My childhood is not one of pain or suffering. I can hug and kiss my children good night, every night. I'm counting my blessings and saying my prayers. I am thankful and grateful for what I have and I know there are reasons beyond my understanding for what I dont have.

I wish her all the best in her life and I hope her health will improve. I hope that she can see the love she has given to her friends and family has multiplied tenfold and that she is a beautiful person, inside and out. I hope that she stays full of hope for herself and her life, always.


Wendy said...

I almost cried reading this. What a beautiful tribute to your friend, and a good reminder that, for most of us, fortune has been very generous.

Karen Mayes said...

What a lovely tribute to your friend. We have a tendency to take life for granted...

Patty Keen said...

As a DeafBlind person with only 5% vision left in one eye and the other eye with grey matter vision, I just wanted to thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to make your friend's life enjoyable.

Taking the time to describe beautiful scents, scenery and being with your family, thank you. You are definitely making your friend's life much more beautiful.

Tactile smile,

jenny said...

Wendy-- After she left, I sat and talked with my husband about her and realized that there is a reason for everything and this was one of them. The timing of her visit came at such a time in our lives that we cannot complain about what we don't have. That's just material stuff and we've done fine without it all this time. Here is this woman who is about to go blind, can't hear or smell and has a myriad of physical health problems and yet is still happy and laughing. I had to give her props.

Karen-- How true! Meeting someone like that really makes you want to slow down and appreciate the little things more.

Patty-- Aww, I was just trying to help and make her feel comfortable. I can't even begin to imagine how she is feeling but I try to be in tune to things and understand a little more of what she is going through. I wish nothing but the best for her and her family.