February 14, 2006.
Blind World Special Feature.
Contributed by Laura Marlow.
My daughter, Lindsay, (age 27, Usher type II) just began using a cane in the last few months. I wasn't sure how I would deal with watching her use it in public; I felt it's use would scream "I'm blind!" and everyone would be looking at her with pity, and then looking at me and blaming me for my genes.
Then we took a family vacation to Walt Disney World. Suddenly it was made clear to me what a blessing that cane was for her.
This woman who had spent the last few years becoming ever more tentative about walking anywhere - sliding her feet along, frantically scanning every new surface, shoulders hunched with the effort of concentrating so hard - suddenly was striding along nonchalantly with her head held high, looking all around at her surroundings with delighted interest, and smiling like crazy.
Her cane has now freed her from the hard work of trying to see what her eyes were no longer able to, and the constant worry about what was in her path. Now the cane does all the work, and she gets to walk around safely and confidently. It's wonderful!
My independent daughter is back, and I love it. More importantly, she loves it too. She told me, "Mom, I really didn't realize how much effort it was taking for me. I was so intent on not having to use that 'symbol of blindness.' But I am much more independent now than I ever was before!"
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