Tag Archives: dance

Gina’s Heavenly Dance

6 Dec

by Gina Falvo  (Gina was a writer in the Words Wide Open workshop at Second Sense: beyond vision loss.  She is a breast cancer survivor and this is what she thought might be if she hadn’t beat her cancer.)

I knocked on the door and it opened. I looked around and saw what I searched for. I felt so happy I did a little victory dance; suddenly the door closed.  I froze, thinking I went the other direction.  I didn’t fight the cancer.  I couldn’t handle taking care of mom.  This is the real hell, I’ve arrived.  I guess my life on earth wasn’t the hell I always thought it was.  I’ve arrived to meet the devil.

I put my hand on my left breast. The lump I felt on earth was gone.  

Mom did tell me there is hope.  Hope is the four letter word I treasure.  I heard laughter, music coming toward me in all directions.  It was white light I saw and I saw further than I’ve ever imagined I could see. I spotted my father talking with his buddies, laughing like he did on earth.  My Aunt Connie, the person I love the most was with her parents, Grandma and Grandpa Sinopoli.  When Mom spoke about her parents, I wished I could meet them.  Grandpa and Grandma Falvo spoke to me in Italian and I understood every word.  I felt a lick on my hand; I looked down and saw a pit bull wagging his tail.  I didn’t feel afraid.  Lassie came up to me; She led me through a forest filled with wild animals who weren’t wild.  I petted a lion.  

I haven’t felt this good since I learned how to cross the street without getting killed.  I couldn’t believe I could actually see.  I wasn’t wearing my glasses.  I saw my favorite celebrities.  I shook hands with Dick Clark who wasn’t slurring from his stroke.  Bob Hope told me a joke and I laughed.  Elizabeth Taylor told me I was as beautiful as her.  Wow, I never had that compliment on earth.  I heard Dean Martin singing.  My mother’s friends were there listening. I kept on going.

I saw my friend, Arnesia, who still had the laughter in her voice. “We both can see better now.”  She said, “No Lighthouse for the Blind here in heaven.”  

“This is heaven, oh, thank God!” I shouted and began my victory dance.  Arnesia grabbed me and we both were dancing.  I brushed against a man in white as I twirled.  

It was Pope John Paul II.  He held me and said, “Gina, you made it.  No more worries.  This is only the beginning of eternal happiness for you.”  

“I’d like to see God,” I asked. “I’d like to know why I always felt like he was punishing me on earth.  I’d like to apologize to God for not wanting to stay on earth until he called me.”  

“You never have to apologize to God, Gina.  God forgave you a long time ago.  Rest now; you’ve ended your journey.  The door will never shut behind you.”

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Blind Is Beautiful

15 Jun

By Stella De Genova

I am starting a new movement.  Blind Is Beautiful!  And why not?  There have been all kinds of movements: the women’s movement, flower people, black power, gay pride.  Well, you can belong to any or all of those groups and ALSO belong to my movement.  Movements build solidarity and confidence and that’s just what we need.  Living with blindness builds strength and character and that’s what we have.

Don’t laugh!  How can blind possibly be beautiful, you ask?  For starters, we have exceptional extra-sensory perception.  We see with our ears and our noses and even intuition.  That’s almost like super powers.  Beautiful!

For another thing, what seeing person can take a deep breath and step out of the door into the big world with their eyes closed – every day?  Exactly.  That alone makes us courageous.  Beautiful!

And how many people can bump into the “Don’t Walk Here” cones or even a street pole, shake it off and keep walking as if that didn’t just happen?  Now that is resilient.  Beautiful!

Visually impaired people do have heightened senses, we are courageous and resilient.  We may have to remind ourselves of that from time to time but it is true.  We can think of famous people through history that were blind who have inspired the world.  We can think of famous people today that are blind and affect peoples’ lives through music, words or actions.  We may be every-day people but we are not ordinary and we all inspire others in one way or another.

I am inspired by the man who is completely blind and navigates his way through the city with only a cane or a guide dog to assist.  I’m inspired by the woman who keeps the office running and can navigate the computer like someone with 20/20 vision.  There are big accomplishments like blind people who have their own businesses or are in charge of programs.  But just as importantly, I am inspired by the person in the support group that shares a personal experience that makes everyone else in the room feel more hopeful and not so alone. 

Every day brings new challenges and every day we persevere.  Yes, we sometimes feel pain and sadness but we also sing and dance and laugh.  We are life.  We are art. 

I am starting a new movement.  So join the movement and spread the word.  Blind is beautiful and we are proud and we are here to stay!