Part 4, conclusion of a series On Being a Blind Mother

Making Me Proud

The proudest I’ve ever been was the time when Kara’s inlaws came for a visit, and they all decided to go bowling. Not wanting me to be left out, Kara tried to find a place that provided railings for blind bowlers. But finding none, she offered to be the railing herself. I knew this was a great sacrifice for her, because we would be quite the spectacle. . She’d hold my left arm and walk with me as I approached the foul line and tell me when to deliver the ball. I still wasn’t any good, but I’ll always be grateful to her for not being embarrassed, because you know, everybody in the place was probably watching us. If we’d been playing baseball, I’d say, she really stepped up to the plate.

I won’t say that my children and/or grandchildren were never uncomfortable or embarrassed or unsure what to do. And I’ve wondered from time to time if they ever felt cheated because of my blindness. My daughter, particularly, has a way of making me feel comfortable and not conspicuous, and she’s a natural at guiding and describing . She always tries to include me in their family activities when I’m visiting and encourages interaction with her children. One of the greatest compliments I ever received came from her husband when I had gone to help out following the birth of their first baby. On the day I was to leave, my son-in-law and my daughter came to me and asked if I could stay two more days. I must have been doing something right, because how many times does a young father ask his mother-in-law to stay longer? Perhaps one day, when she isn’t dealing with teenage drama and running after a two-year-old, she’ll tell me her side of the story.


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