This post has taken me a few days to type. Honestly, my extreme emotions have taken me by surprise. As you well know, I am never at a loss for words. But, since we first hugged on Tuesday my head started to swirl.
It took me a few days but I have finally figured out why. Whenever I am face to face with people, I tend to be guarded because Paige speaks before she thinks. Imagine how stressed I should have been. Paige in a hotel filled with blind people. I was waiting for her to start asking everyone what medical condition caused their blindness. She has been known to walk up to complete strangers and start asking questions.
But, from the first moments of our time together I felt safe with you. I knew you would not judge us if Paige let her curiosity show. Safety. What an incredible gift you gave to me Sarah. What an incredible gift you gave to Paige. She asked questions, you answered. You never made her feel bad for wondering.
Within minutes we were all laughing. Paige was completely drawn to you and your incredible spirit. So were Jason and I. So were many others. Your helpful nature came shining through.
During the ride home Tuesday night, I was already looking forward to our Friday visit. Paige didn't stop talking about how much fun she had and how much she loved spending time with you. But, it was then that I realized how much this world needed to change. That's when my emotions got out of control, very quickly. Our trip to Target was a huge step into your reality. Before that day I never even thought twice about many of the restrictions that you face on a daily basis. You are so amazing. You make it all seem so easy.
Friday came and I was so excited to be spending the day with you and Kevin. With my crazy emotions in tow, Paige and I practically ran down the hotel hallway to your room. Before we even got there we could hear your laugh. Paige smiled really big.
She had a blast that day. From playing with Loretta, getting to go with you to try out the possible currency options, seeing how your computer works, listening to your music, and even being turned into a blind child. She loved it all.
She learned some pretty hard lessons that day too. Seeing the reactions on the faces of sighted people was very difficult for her. But, being that she was in the safe environment that you created, she was able to learn from what she saw.
Sarah, I am forever grateful for the time we spent together. You are an amazing woman. I know you won't agree with me when I say that you are one of the most courageous people that I know. You would tell me that you are merely doing what has to be done. But, there are plenty of people out there who would never venture into unknown territory like you have done. You are an inspiration to many.
I could not end my letter here. There are a few more people that I need to mention.
I really enjoyed getting to know you. You had no idea about this but you said something to me that brought tears to my eyes. The first day we met you said that you liked my blog because I "tell it like it is" and you were glad that I was out there talking about the issues. You have no idea how much that meant to me to receive such validation from a former preemie. I can't thank you enough.
I had so much fun spending time with you on Friday. All that laughing we did while walking the dogs was wonderful! You made us feel so welcome. I look forward to reading your journal and getting to know you better.
Oh where do I begin? You are one very special person. You are one of the most open minded people that I know. You treated me with respect after finding out (thanks to Paige's openness) that our religious beliefs are quite different. That's a rare quality nowadays. I really enjoyed our lunch chat! Oh, and your sense of direction... could I borrow it? If it wasn't for you, we would have gotten lost on our return trip from Target and our walk back after lunch. I sure will miss your sense of humor too!!
With much love to all of you,