My friends, and family tell me I am a very open and understanding person; I guess it comes from where I was raised. My childhood was pretty normal, but not everyone saw it that way. My mother is totally blind; she has a degenerative disease that slowly limits her vision over time. As a child, I was always asked what it was like to have a mother who is blind. My answer was always the same, "My mom is just the same as yours." She wasn’t, of course, but as far as I could see, my life was pretty much the same as that of my friends.
My mother cooked, cleaned, and raised my younger sister, Jessica, and me. She went to college to obtain her bachelor’s degree, and worked full time as a computer skills instructor and taught other blind and low vision students how to maneuver a computer using speech. She was always catching the bus to and from work whatever the weather. Even during heavy snow, she would get out with her long coat and snow boots to make the trip. Many of my mother’s colleagues would call to say that they could not make it to work. She got around just like everyone else, except she always had a white cane or a guide dog that would accompany her.
I thought that she was special because not just anyone could take their dog to the zoo or to the movies. People would always stop, stare, and sometimes stop her to ask if she needed help. Although that was not always the case I can remember when I was younger we went shopping at a clothing store in a large shopping mall a woman approached and stopped my mother and stated that she could not have a dog in the store. My mother tried to explain that the dog was a licensed guide, and the women looked at me since I was able to make eye contact she obviously thought my mother could not speak for herself being in her condition. The woman then took a tone to this day I will never forget. She became angry she started yelling, pointing, and drawing the attention of others around. She... [continues]
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