I was asked by a very brave and curious teenager what I would do, if I were given the opportunity to see again for a day.The reason why I would describe her as brave, is because the average sighted individual; at least in Good ol’ Trinidad and Tobago apparently believes that enquiries such as this one, are insensitive to all persons who are blind, and would most likely cause us to go bonkers. Anyway, I recall, off the bat, that I told her that I would have liked to see what my daughter, Mya, actually looked like. She internalised my reply, said the word, ‘Cool’ and hopped, skipped and jumped away to do whatever teenagers do at 1:48 in the afternoon.
Now that I think about it, there’s pretty much a lot of stuff I would do with sight, if I was somehow given twenty four hours to use it. So without further ado, I present to the reading, and listening public:
IF I COULD SEE FOR A DAY
Now, before I begin, it must be noted that not every blind person is gonna jump up and down a’ whooppin’ and a’ hollering’ at the prospect of receiving vision. You will think to yourself, over that nice cup of coffee, or tea, or whatever, “Why in the name of ‘Darth vader’s’ secret stash of ’Strepsils’ would a blind individual NOT want to see?!”Whilst the idea sounds blasphemous at best, I can only offer that everyone’s situation and circumstances are different. I once had a conversation with a friend of mine, who was born blind, and he said that if he woke up one day with vision, he would probably go insane. The more I thought about it, the more I realised that the same way someone who was sighted all their lives, would throw quite the hissy fit if they woke up blind, someone blind all their lives would probably react the same way if the situation happened in reverse.
Anyway, without further ado- again- and not necessarily in any particular order:
1. Thank God for the opportunity to see again. Sickness comes from the devil, and healing from the Almighty. Even if it’s for a day.
2. Scream. This would more likely than not, be the first thing I’d do after thanking the big guy upstairs. I’d probably think I was dreaming; as I, on many an occasion, got all excited, believing that I could see again, only to wake up in the dark, whilst the reality that it was only a dream sucker punches me in the groin. So the sequence would be:
Get punched by my wife.
scream in pain.
3. I would take a while to take in everything and everyone in my house. My wife, who definitely aged like fine wine for the past four years. My eleven year old, Marcia: I’d probably tell her something stupid, like, “aguish How you get so fat?!” and then the light/bane of my existence, Mya. I would definitely want to get a good look at the Class five hurricane, made flesh, just to see for myself that the waver of dirty underwear, misplacer of ribbons, and biter of unsuspecting parents had the face of a four year old child.
4. Facebook. I would take about an hour or so to go through most, if not all the pictures of my friends; both old and new, for the past four years. I’d seriously have to check all the videos I missed, especially Marcia’s Karate tournaments, the videos of Mya arguing her point of why she should keep brushing her teeth, if they’re only going to get dirty again, and why guys are making all this fuss over Amber Rose. Maybe I’d have to take a bit more than an hour…
5. There are some people I would have to see for myself in person. Like a colleague of mine at work who most swear; by every religious book available, look like Pocahontas, the lady on Henry Street who thought I read newspapers,by connecting my iPhone to my eye,and the young lady at the Chinese food restaurant, who accused me of intentionally distracting her with my ‘dreamy eyes’.
6. I would check to see if I, in fact, had ‘dreamy eyes’.
7. I would watch ‘Avengers.Age of Ultron’; see if they did ‘Bishop” justice in “X-men. Days of future past’, and stare at the trailer for the new ‘Star Wars” movie about nine times.
8.I would quickly do a sketch of my wife and kids. I fully intend to do it whilst blind, mind you, but I think I would like to take a long look at it when I’m done.
9. Take a long, long , long look at my wife in her birthday suit. Then beg God for another day of sight.
10. Take a cursory glance at ’The last Airbender’ from M. Night Shyamalan.. Then thank God I would be blind again tomorrow.
This ‘bucket list’ may very well not occur. I just may waste a lot of time, wondering if it was a dream or not, but those would be the top ten. Of course I would love to see again, but I would have to admit that I have had a lot more good things happen to me in my brand spanking new sightless world. I would like to believe that I have not only entertained persons, but educated a lot about blind related issues, and what it really means to be blind. I think I have inspired, motivated, and even assisted a lot of individuals; both with or without disabilities. Honestly, I’ve lived a lot more in these past four years in the dark, than the thirty one with vision. A lot more. I guess losing something can either change you for the worst or the better. I just thank God that he knew and still knows the plans he has for me, and believes in me enough to entrust me with his purpose, where others would have thrown in the towel,
I occasionally mourn my sight loss; but only for a little while. There are times in the wee hours of the morning, that I contemplate the fact that I may never see my children grow up to have children of their own, or see their happy faces at graduations, weddings, and other great accomplishments. But I am happy of the fact that I have loved ones around me, people who listen to me, and Christ who strengthens me. For the past few years, I’ve hiked mountains, rappelled off cliffs, shook the hand of the head of state twice,and won three innovation competitions in a row. Something tells me that in spite of all that, God eh finished with me yet. I have; and hope that others will, learn to, not only cope with their disability, but excel and prosper, in spite of, and because of it.
When life gives you lemons;why settle for just lemonade?