All in a Day

4 Oct

by Stella De Genova

It’s as easy as a walk through your own neighborhood to find the worst and the best of the human spirit.  I know because it happened to me today!  It was one of the last warm, sunny days before the colder side of autumn will set in on Chicago so I took the opportunity to take a walk to the grocery store.

On my way, I came across a large tree limb with many smaller branches sticking out in many directions laying across the sidewalk which crossed my path.  I stopped walking, took off my sunglasses and tested where the safe path was with my trusty white cane.  While I was beginning to continue through, a man in a car stopped, telling me to stop and wait so he could move the tree limb for me.  I let him know I was fine but he still proceeded to move the limb onto the grass and out of the walking area.  I thanked him and we both went our ways, thinking to myself how nice of him that was.

I made my way to the store, found what I wanted and asked the butcher for chicken breast filets since I couldn’t read the labels myself.  He was also kind enough to show me exactly what I was looking for.

What a nice day.  Things are going so nicely and I’m on my way home now. I’m at the far end of my block and it’s sunny enough for me to see that someone is walking toward me.  I made sure I stayed to the right since that is normally the side we Americans walk or drive on when there is oncoming traffic = vehicle or pedestrian.  I continued walking and so did the woman but she did not move to her right.  She stayed on her left which was right in front of me and she kept coming.  I walked and thought she’d get it and move over, especially that she could see me waling with a white cane.  Nope!  She was about 3 feet in front of me when I moved out of her way!  And she proceeded to walk right past me and on her way.  All I could think was “Really? Did she just do that?”  I just shook my head a little and continued home.

I didn’t let that ruin my day.  It just made it as clear as ever to me that humans are made up of good and bad and I’ll continue to try and have the good win over the bad.  It’s the best anyone can do for themselves and for their fellow man, right?

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6 Responses to “All in a Day”

  1. kyleesmommy October 4, 2012 at 7:52 PM #

    Not exactly related to your story directly, but what age were you when you lost your vision? How hard is it? My 1 year old daughter was diagnosed with Lebers Congenital Amaurosis when she was 4 months old. I am just wondering what to expect? How hard is it to learn how to use the cane? Any info I would greatly appreciate 🙂

    • visionthroughwords October 4, 2012 at 11:04 PM #

      Hi, I’ve had “night blindness” due to retinitis pigmentosa since early childhood but was not diagnosed until I was 16 with RP. I still got around pretty well in daylight and good lighting until the last 10-15 years. I started using a cane 3-4 years ago and honestly, I’m not knowledgeable enough to give you info about training a child with vision impairment. I had no training until later in life and just made my way through when I was young or hung onto a friend when out at night. If you look at Jamie Marks’ post, Shore of Hope, her email is there and she and her 2 children have RP and she may have some good advice or direction for you. My one piece of advice is that my family never treated me differently than my siblings and, therefore, I never felt any different. Best wishes to you and your family.

  2. Jamie Marks October 4, 2012 at 9:10 PM #

    Hi Stella,

    I’ve had the same thing happen to me too. It is so interesting that we as low vision/partially sighted/visually impaired/not totally blind/Rpeepers can see enough sometimes to be a wtiness to both the good and the bad of people’s actions and expressions. Depending on the situation, I can sometimes see facial expressions of people as they walk past me or toward me or as far away as possible from me. Some people like to test you, to see if you are “really blind”. Sometimes they stare, sometimes they have to look away. Sometimes they have fear in their eyes or confusion when I look into them and smile. I am glad you were 2 for 3 today.

  3. Jeff Flodin October 5, 2012 at 6:26 AM #

    Every trip an adventure. Thank you for continuing to look for the good.

  4. stelladegenova October 7, 2012 at 11:30 AM #

    Stella, people see you as a “glass half full” kind of person : ) That was the good you could see, there are many other good things that people do everyday that go not noticed and not acknowledged. Those are the little things in life that are really the big things in life.

  5. Donna Dydo October 7, 2012 at 12:29 PM #

    Stella – I am so happy that you reacted to the ignorant woman like you did. I have always feared for you when you had to travel on your own and even your short trips to the grocery store. It was evident that the two people who helped you let us realize that the good made up for the one uncaring person. Like you said, there many other good things that people do everyday that go unnoticed or acknowledged. Thank God that the good out weighs the bad.

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