Dictated on Tuesday, June 9, 2015:
Upon coming here, I had been working with physical therapy and occupational therapy almost every day. At first, I was really upset at how the things were going because we weren’t doing any leg exercises that I had been hoping for. Over the past few weeks, a lot of those plans have changed. You can now see a blind girl wheeling herself down the hallway to the therapy room; of course, someone is always behind me, steering me, because once I ran into the wall and I don’t want to run into anybody else for that matter, either. We are now focusing on doing a lot of stretching, as well as leg exercises. As far as OT, they are trying to work with my shoulders and upper body to keep it flexible and to strengthen my hands. All in all, being able to move around more has been of a great thing.
On Sunday’s session, I was in between two metal bars with my hand grippies practicing going from my wheelchair to a standing position. It was really short, and I was really bummed. Then yesterday, in my session, we did the same thing, except this time, she had me take my left hand off the bar and re-balance myself. As I stood there, a thought came to mind and I told my therapist that I don’t remember what it’s like to stand without holding onto something. At the end of my session, they thought I was ready and asked if I wanted to try walking using my walker. I thought the challenge would be good and walked down the hallway 125 steps. Then today I did the same thing, except this time I walked all the way from the therapy room back to my room: 225 steps, and boy, did it wear me out.
After they left, I had a few minutes to think before some friends came in. I started thinking about other things that I don’t remember: I don’t remember what it is like to get up from a chair without pulling yourself up and I don’t remember what it is like to sit on a normal toilet seat with no handles. I guess there are a lot of other things that I do not remember, such as eating and being able to see the utensil go towards your mouth. These are just a few of the personal things, but I also realized that I am not remembering some of the outside things such as some animals and flowers. There is some things, too, that I do not remember that have to do with sound: a lot of these are also outside, such as birds or crickets or even Muffy’s meow.
As I continued thinking, I guess this is what bugs me in dealing with my vision, because I do not want to forget what people look like. On Sunday when Landon was here, I was holding him before Melissa and David left. In my illuminating white eyes I couldn’t see Landon at all. I know that I have pictures in my mind, but I will never see past those still pictures. Then the last thing I thought of was that I do not remember what I look like, not that that matters entirely, but still, I don’t remember what it is like to walk into the bathroom in the morning to brush your morning breath and view the bed head hairdo! Some of these things I would love to go back to the days of old before I had walking problems and vision problems and was just living a pretty normal life, but I know that the days of old are no more. Things have changed and there is no turning back now. Yesterday was a very dark day as the sun was very overcast. I sat after breakfast and was singing some songs while I waited for my coffee. Cindy Morgan’s, “I Will Be Free,” came to mind. Right at the end of her second verse she says, “When my eyes behold the One who bore my lot and paid the cost I will be free.” Sitting there somewhere in the darkness, I again started to cry because I realized that my vision here on earth has failed me and even though I can see just a little it will be nothing compared to when my eyes will finally fully see again. And in that day, the first face I will be seeing is the one of my Savior, and I won’t need to wear sunglasses even though He will be radiant in light. And I won’t need to use my walker to run into His arms and I am hoping that the first words I will hear Him say is, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
These days here seem so long, but they will be nothing compared to all eternity, and that thought is what has been giving me hope and that is why I am going to try my very hardest to continue even on the dark and lonely days.
“I Will Be Free” by Cindy Morgan
The mountains are steep and the valley’s low
And already I’m weary but I have so far to go
Oh, and sorrow holds my hand and suffering sings me songs
But when I close my eyes I know to whom I belong
And who makes me strong
And I will be free, I will be free to run the mountains
I will be free, free to drink from the living fountain
Oh, I’ll never turn back ’cause he awaits for me
Oh, I will be free
A wise man, a rich man in pauper’s clothes
A shepherd to lead us through the land of woes
Though many battles I have lost so many rivers yet to cross
But my eyes behold the Son who bore my loss and who paid the cost
I will be free, I will be free to run the mountains
I will be free, oh, free to drink from the living fountain
Oh, I’ll never turn back ’cause He awaits for me, oh
Oh, I will be free, oh
Oh and I’ll dance on silver moonlight and I’ll walk through velvet fields
Oh, and I’ll run into the arms the arms that set me free
Oh, I will be free to run the mountains, I will be free
Free to drink from the living fountain
Oh, I’ll never turn back ’cause He awaits, oh
I’ll never turn back
Don’t you ever turn back
‘Cause someday, someday we’re gonna see
That we will be free