Thursday, September 24, 2009

A chance encounter

I stopped by a shop for a few things this afternoon. As I wandered aimlessly, a very nice man asked me if I was finding everything. Of course I wasn't. I explained to him that I was searching for tape for my label maker but since I have never replaced it before, I didn't know exactly what I was looking for.

My glasses didn't make it in to the store with me, and you know old I am, so you understand my need for reading glasses. Anyway, the nice gentleman escorted me to the correct department, stooped down and read all of the packages until he identified the one that I needed. I thanked him as I walked away, then I turned at the end of the aisle and called back, "I really appreciate your eyes, too!" I know, it was an odd thing to say, but I couldn't read a thing, afterall.

He responded "Thank you. I do too." As he stood, he said "It's funny you should say that . . . " then I saw something in his hand that I hadn't noticed before as he unfolded his white cane.

As it turns out, he suffers from the same condition that my Mother-in-law, Carolyn Wing Greenlee, does, Retinitis Pigmentosa. They have only the straight-ahead vision left. No peripheral vision. They are legally blind and losing ground.

Carolyn has recently published a book, A Gift of Dogs. It is Carolyn's story and those of several others in her group as they trained to become dog handlers. A quote from the book's webpage, "This book is not only about guide dogs, remarkable as they are. It’s each person’s unique story of making peace with what has been called the Nation’s Number One Most Feared Disability."

I just don't believe this encounter was a coincidence. My new acquaintance was very pleased to have Carolyn's email address so that he might discuss the new life he finds himself in with someone who has walked before him. I'm so happy to be the one who was used to give him this information.

1 comment:

  1. always amaze me with your writing of events, stories, life experiences, and more. Thank you.