Blind World Magazine

Blindness is not a handicap.

January 19, 2006 - Birmingham,AL,USA.

Glenda Mock is an Alabama gal who has come full circle.

She grew up in Huntsville, lived 40 years of her adult life in Sarasota, Fla., and now lives in Spanish Fort. "Most people work their careers and retire in Sarasota. I did the opposite," she said.

Mock's impressive career encompasses sales, construction, hotel and property management, and consultant to large-scale developers. Along the way she's served on committees and boards (12 in one year) and amassed awards and commendations for her business leadership, stewardship and community service.

"I've done so many things," said Mock. "It's always been fun. There's always another opportunity out there."

In 2003, the Gulf Coast Business Review deemed Mock "a leading force in cleaning up Sarasota's North Trail," "a trail blazer" who "doesn't take no' for an answer."

This dynamo also graduated from Ringling's clown school and volunteered in nursing homes and children's hospitals as "Sunshine" the clown.

"I have a PHD," laughs Mock, "a positive humor degree. I loved clowning, and the only reason I'm not still doing it is my dermatologist told me I had to stop wearing the paint. I love life and I live it to the fullest."

Combine clowning, Mock's business leadership, her role as a court-appointed guardian and her joy in cooking and you have a busy person who loves helping people.

More than five years ago, Mock was struck by sudden blindness in her left eye. A year and a half later, she lost sight in her right eye. Instead of devastation at her loss, Mock's response was to write a list of things she was grateful for and things that could have happened that would have been worse.

"I'm so blessed," said Mock. "This (sight impairment) is a minor thing. I don't consider myself handicapped. I do not want anybody's sympathy."

Ninety-two percent of Mock's vision is gone. "I have to be within two inches of an item to see with special glasses," said Mock, who adds, "I'm happier about my 8 percent (vision) than anyone walking around with 20/20."

Unimpeded by her sight impairment, Mock works crossword puzzles every day "because it keeps your mind alert," she said, "and if you do something nice for yourself you're a lot more apt to do something nice for someone else."

Spanish Fort's initial attraction for the Mocks was its proximity to one of their sons, an attorney in Mobile. They have two other sons in Alabama, one in Colorado Springs, Colo., and one in Salt Lake City, and 14 grandchildren they adore.

Of her husband, Mock said, "God was smiling on me with Tris; I could not have a better partner.

"Blindness has taught me so much about life," added Mock. "Life is what you make it. With the blindness, I look at everything with a different perspective. It has lifted me to a higher plateau, and I count every blessing."

When asked if there's anything she can't do, Mock responded, "I certainly hope not. If there was anything I couldn't do, before I went to bed tonight I would be able to do it, or I'd be working on it so much that I'd be able to do it tomorrow. Determination is a great planner."

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