Whew! Try saying that title ten times fast.
I recently received an email from a reader who has Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). This is a degenerative eye condition which usually leads to blindness. She has a seven year old, and wants another baby before both she and her child get any older. However, she is afraid since her vision has been, and will be continuing to worsen, that caring for two children will be even more of a challenge. She asked me if I and other blind moms, parent alone, or are our husbands home with us to help.
For those of you who don’t know, my husband is a fire fighter. He works 24 hour shifts, and is sometimes gone for 48 or 72 hours at a time. We also live in a small master planned suburb where the nearest bus stop is about 3 miles away on the opposite side of the Interstate 15. Our community has everything I might need on an everyday basis like the grocery store, restaurants, UPS, dry cleaner, dentist, Starbucks, Walgreens, 4 great parks within a mile of our home, an Ace Hardware store, a nail salon, and much much more. We purchased our home here for the local conveniences and for the quiet and tranquil feel of a small town, set away from the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas. The downside is that it often makes me a slave to the suburbs.
I’m not going to lie, living in the suburbs of Las Vegas, being blind, and having a husband who is gone for long hours is a challenge. Let me ask you this question. What in life isn’t a challenge? I bet standing on one foot is a challenge to many. I bet singing the, “Star Spangled Banner,” is a challenged to many more. Learning a new language might seem like a challenge to some, but how incredible is it when you get to speak that language in it’s native country? Learning how to read and write might seem like a challenge to a young child, but the joy of literacy cannot be achieved without taking the fear of failing and putting it to the test everyday by the first simple task of learning the letters of the alphabet. Before you know it, that child is reading is first book!
One of my biggest challenges is transportation. Yes, we do live within walking distance to many things I might need, we also live in a non-pedestrian friendly city, where the public transit system is a laughing joke compared to other metropolitan areas.
How do I overcome this challenge?
1. Hubby’s fire station is close enough for him to ride his bike to. This;
a) leaves our family car available for me to use, with a driver of course.
b) gives him a work out to and from work.
c) is great for the environment and cuts down on our gas bill.
2. I have an amazing network of friends I’ve worked hard in creating that I like to call my Village. I can’t emphasize the importance of a good support system, especially since we don’t have family nearby. Both my parents and my husband’s parents live in Northern California. These women don’t just help me. We all help and support each other. We are there for one another to provide a shoulder to cry on, with arms to hug and comfort heartache and pain, with laughs over a good glass of wine, and tonight, with a long overdue Mons Night Out.
3. Lastly and most importantly, hubby and I have a strong and healthy relationship based on mutual trust and respect. Together, we have built a foundation for our children to safely thrive. Our own individual strengths and independence have thus transformed into the web of interdependence, making it even easier for ALL OF US to succeed.
I’ll end today’s blog with this bit of advice, don’t take those lemons life hands you and merely turn them into lemonade, turn them into lemon meringue pie or better yet, lemon custard pie.
Until tomorrow, make it a great day!