As a blog writer, I try to always be both honest and optimistic. Tonight, I feel torn because I do not know whether I can write a post that is both. Here is the truth. After work tonight, I met with Kasey, my mobility trainer, for a lesson. I knew what to expect. I knew he was going to talk to me about using a cane. I was on edge, uneasy. I was aware that my body language was closed and stiff. My body language was echoing my mind – closed, stressed, bordering on hostile.
Kasey talked to me about his own journey of vision loss and his feelings when he started carrying a cane. He chose an ID cane for my height and showed me how it folds and unfolds. It looked really small and lightweight, but ugly and so white. He asked if I was ready to try it. I cried. I felt so stupid, but I couldn’t stop myself. I could not bear to touch or even look at the cane. He asked if he could show me how he uses one. After a few minutes, I agreed. We walked down the hallway and he showed me how to hold it and how to use it going up and down stairs.
We went back into his office and, finally, he held out the cane and I took it. I hated that cane. Taking that cane was the hardest step on my low-vision journey so far. I dutifully put it together and then folded it back up. I felt sick to my stomach. Kasey finally convinced me to go for a short walk while holding the cane. Down the hall, up the stairs, down the stairs. It was nothing, but it was terrible. I felt conspicuous. I hoped no one would see me holding the cane.
After our three-minute walk, Kasey said that was enough. We talked a bit, just chatting about anything but that cane. Finally, he asked if I would take the cane with me and I agreed. He was glad, because he said that he was going to insist that I take it. I don’t have to use it, but I have to have it with me, just in case I need it. He advised me to just keep it in my purse. I stuffed it in the bottom of my purse and put other things on top of it. I hate that cane.
The preceding was the honest part. Here is the optimistic part. Some day (soon) I will catch the bus and ride home. It will grow dark while I ride the bus. I will get off the bus and realize that I can not see clearly to walk home. I will take out the cane and use it to pick out curbs and any unseen objects in my path. I will arrive home safely. And I will fold up the cane and store it for the next day. On that first day that I need to use the cane to get home safely, I will have it with me. God will provide the courage and strength to use it. Fear and vanity and pride will lose. And independence and faith and hope will win. And a flower of grace will bloom.