Monday, September 17, 2012

Lessons Learned

Today I had lunch with a new friend.  Her name is Lindsay.  She has LCA like Finley - just a different type.  The difference is that Lindsay has been blind since birth.

When I met Lindsay (online on our LCA group), I liked her immediately.  She was smart, and funny.  I was excited to learn that she lived near by so that we could meet in person.

She is involved in the study that Finley participated in a few weeks ago, and that was our first chance to meet in person.

We both have a fierce love for sushi, so we got together today to eat and chat.  The more I get to know her, the more I like her.

And the more I learn what it is like to be a blind adult.  And what blind adults think about being blind.

That was a lot of blind in one sentence.

What I am learning is that Lindsay isn't identified by her blindness.  Lindsay is just........Lindsay.

Smart, funny, Brown graduate who works at MIT.  She is a scientist who is deeply involved in her work.  She tells GREAT stories.  She had an amazing childhood and a pretty amazing life.  She lives on her own in Boston.  She hates to cook.  She has a magical smile that lights up a room.

When I sat with her today in a crowded restaurant, swapping funny stories and silly antics, I saw what I want for Finley.  An outgoing person that lives life to the fullest.

She taught me today that being blind is not a sentence.  It is not sad or depressing or dark.  She said that what drives her the most crazy is people who don't think her life is full or meaningful because she can't see.  That when people talk to her and wish that someday she could see, it bothers her.  It bothers her that they feel she isn't good enough just the way she is.

I am guilty of this with Finley.  Of COURSE I want her cured.  Of course I don't want her to lose her vision.  Of course, of course, of course.

But I want to make sure that her life is full.  That she realizes that no matter what - she is amazing and can be amazing - blind or sighted.  That I expect her to go to college, get a job, get a house, get married, have children.......blind or sighted.   I expect from her what I expect from Arlington and Cainan. 

Lindsay grew up in a house where blindness was accepted and a part of life.  It did not define who she was.  She was not coddled or held to lower standards because of it.

And look where it got her.  Look at what she has done already!  And she is very young still - still so much to do.

I smile when I think of her today.  How much fun she is and how much she has taught me about what you need to see in EVERY person and what you need to see PAST.

Thanks Lindsay.

1 comment:

Penny said...

Some of the most meaningful people i have meet the past two years since Abby became blind is the wonderful blind adults who lead full successful lives. They are not rare they are just people who didn't let their blindness hold them back.