Last

We are in the first day of the last month of this year. i am looking forward to a New Year, something fresh, with no mistakes made. God knows, we’ve earned it.

i think that Sir Raven and i are in a good place. We are both actively working on it. She hasn’t gone into auto-pilot and i haven’t withdrawn into silent workhorse. i think she is happier again. i certainly hope so because i am giving my all to her, holding nothing back.

She told me she wants to know how i feel, and i’m still pondering that new idea. There is a lot i don’t say. The little details of life, like today, when i went to the laundry mat and a woman told me that i should hire a home health aide to do my wash for me. She would cook and clean, the woman said. i know she is trying to be helpful but i start to panic inside a bit. i had to hide being blind for most of my life, some thirty years, because in most ordinary situations my family was ashamed of it. Of me. And so i started to panic, for a moment, trying to look at our laundry and figure out what i had done wrong. i remind myself that the woman only means to be helpful and i try to sound cheerful, as i explain that i like to be independent. The woman persists, telling me that i shouldn’t be working so hard on my own. She notes the small burns on my arms, cooking burns, and repeats her ideas on how i should be living. With help. Then, she tells me she is not a “religious person” and i brace myself inside for what i know is coming. She tells me God can create miracles and let me see again. Something about her peers deeply into me, as if she can see my life all at once. i tell her that i have no regrets, that i am thankful for what i can see, every day. Nearby, i hear a newborn gurgle and turn to the noise, a sad smile crosses my face as i wish i could see the child. Quickly, i cover my face and return to the ongoing monologue about all of the miracles God could achieve. i agree with her, and tell her i weighed one pound and seven and a half ounces when i was born. She says my life is a miracle, that i was a miracle baby. i stiffen. My mother used to say that, in a sad kind of tone. She would say, “what do you expect? Of course you don’t understand. You were only one pound, the length of a pencil, of course you can’t skate or do math or understand a conversation. They thought you’d be retarded and you are brilliant. Brilliant people don’t understand simple things.”

There is some truth to this, to all of it, the tape of my mother in my head, and the woman in front of me. i am standing there nodding, a mute puppet. i want to crawl into the floor.

The woman tells me that my miracle is coming and stands. She wants to touch me, i’m certain of that, and i start to feel a panic again. Does she want to lay hands on me like Benny Hinn? Will she suddenly turn hostile and cruel like my mother?

The laundry mat is too small and the air has been sucked out. i close my eyes and fold shirts and when i open them again, the woman is gone. All of the religion abuse comes rolling back and i choke it down, breathe, and let my breath go slowly from my mouth.

i can’t be angry about the sight thing. i would have taken my nephews far away if i could have seen. They had lived with me as their sole caretaker for most of their lives. It would have never occurred to me that it would have been kidnapping. Compliments of being raised by a sociopath, i would have assumed the legal system would have understood my predicament and would not have returned the boys to drug addicted and abusive parents.

i would have been wrong.

Maybe that was God’s miracle. Saving me from doing the one thing that would have prevented the good life i have. Saving me legal consequences, which would have kept me from taking care of my grandmother until her death. i would have never forgiven myself for not following through on that duty. She died the day before Thanksgiving and i wear her ring that week, with great pride and love. Gabe’s birthday is on New Year’s Eve and i’ll send another balloon into the sky, with all of my hopes and dreams for him.

And then i’ll muster everything i have to work on the present and prepare for our future.
i believe in Sir Raven. i believe in her-in us-with the same passion as the woman in the laundry mat believing in God’s miracle. That we keep getting stronger and renewing our commitment to each other is a kind of miracle of it’s own, to me. And for that, i am truly thankful.

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