“I am so sorry to hear you have lost you vision” said the blurred figure in front of me. The sincerity in his voice was sweet but my ears tried to deflect the genuine regret onto someone who really needed it. Standing by the bus stop on the way back from work, we had spent the last ten minutes talking to someone who knew me but I had no idea who they were. I did not recognize his voice or his shadowy blurry outline, but he knew a lot about me which was a little bit strange to say the least.
I always seem to forget that people use their eyes to recognize others and not voices, unique sounding footsteps or method of deductions to recognize who is there. This person knew where I lived and knew my children and I had no idea of who he was as his new voice made its way into my memory bank to be filed alongside the masses of others I had met throughout my lifetime. It must have been the puzzled look on my face that told him that I had no idea of who he was which prompted him to explain that he used to live on my street. Phew, panic over.
The first time he said that he was sorry that I had lost my sight, I felt a little shocked at what he was saying as if I am honest I had never felt any regret from loosing my sight. This was however not a thing that you could share with everyone as it was not an easy concept to explain. The fact that I usually forgot that I could not see can be hard to comprehend so I usually kept that one to myself. Explaining to others however that I had gained so much insight from my sight loss may still have been alien to them but my reasonings may be a little easier to understand.
My sight loss although is not ideal, is not fatal. Unlike some of the other side effects of Marfan Syndrome, sight loss was inconvienent but not life threatening. If I had perfect sight from birth I don’t think that I would have the unique view on the world that I am blessed with. I would not have learnt to think outside of the box and learn alternative coping strategies to make me lead a fulfilling life. I would have not met others that I know in the sight loss community either that have enriched my life. Most importantly, if I had fully functioning vision then I would never had met Munch. So sorry I am not.
I loved the sentiment of this blurry figure that stood in front of me as he was coming from the most compassionate place and thanked him but even after explaining to him that I was thankful more than sorry he just didn’t get it. It is never easy to understand another person’s life when we only have our own lives to match it too. It is sometimes those who appear to be without that are the actual ones that have the most enriched lives. I love my life and all that it has brought and would never want to change anything about it. I am thankful every day for the lucky life that I lead and hope that we can all someday start to appreciate how lucky we truly are.