I recently had coffee with the mom of one of my former students (Jake). You may remember reading about Jake in July when AFB celebrated his graduation from high school and acceptance into college. I know firsthand Jake’s success was in large part due to his unique character as a person, but his attributes of determination and optimism are traits his parents modeled for and instilled in him.
Having worked with Jake’s parents for many years, I thought I knew what their life was like as parents of a child who is visually impaired. To be honest, when I asked Nancy if she’d be willing to share her story about Jake being diagnosed with a visual impairment, I imagined she might share feelings of anger, sorrow, guilt, and jealousy. She didn’t. In fact, when I asked her what being Jake’s mom has taught her, she shared, “My mantra is that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% what you do with it.” She further shared, “Jake has showed me the importance of not dwelling on the negative and to focus on the possibilities in life. Instead of allowing myself to get overwhelmed with worry or grief surrounding his diagnosis, I chose happiness.”
Although there were medical challenges, difficult decisions to make, and lessons in advocacy to be learned, Nancy chose to find and focus on the joy of raising a son with a visual impairment.
I am hopeful reading Nancy’s perspective as a parent will encourage you to focus on the possibilities that lie ahead not only for your child who is visually impaired or blind but also yourself as a parent who is raising a child with a visual impairment.
Read Nancy’s story, “A Thankful Mom.”