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Friday, December 9, 2011

I told my folks.

I finally told my parents about the glasses. They live five hours away in the small town where I grew up. After they made sure I got a good education through high school, I came to the city, got into trouble at the blind rehab center, and was hardly to be seen in that small town again. I know they are proud of me for doing well in school, but I wonder how many interests we have in common. If I give Mom a lengthy explanation of one of my projects, she might say I'm talking over her head. She is about five inches taller than me and actually means that she cannot understand all of what I am saying. Likewise, if she talks about shopping, decorating etc. I, being her only girl, have no idea what to say. I've always been the strange one that everybody picked on as I spent my childhood alone, waiting for my own kind to show up in a star ship and beam me out of there.
If I tell them, I thought, they will either think me even more bizarre than before, or worse, that I am investing my hopes in something that is a waste of time.

As I explained the basics of the system to Mom, as I told her that I was starting to see, it felt hard to breathe. "I'm starting to understand why you do things like hang balls on Christmas trees," I explained. "Before I could have no empathy. I had to dismiss so many rituals as stupid sighted things, but now they are legitimate and I can study them. I can't see all of what you see, but I want to learn."
She seemed excited and had me tell Daddy. It suddenly became easier to breathe. I was able to tell him that the study of vision had become extremely important to me and that I wanted to study science and technology so that many people would be able to see one day. We had a long discussion. "Keep tinkering," he said.  "Remember Thomas Edison and the light bulb, and Don't get discouraged if it doesn't work out right away. You never know where this will lead in a few decades."

It's going to be a very interesting Christmas. Mom has at least three dogs and a huge collection of mercury glass ornaments to show me, and Daddy wants to hear the soundscapes - he is late blind himself. Maybe I will no longer have to sit outside by myself, wishing for home.

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