Here’s what I’d do if I could see again. For one glorious winter day, I’d examine snowflakes for subtle differences. I’d get impressed by Impressionists hanging around the Art Institute. I’d take a few slap shots wearing my red and white Blackhawks jersey.
I’d explore unfamiliar places—historic Union Station, modern skyscrapers. I’d find peace in familiar places—the shining eyes of my beloved, the gleaming coat of my big, black dog.
I’d set aside time to spy on myself, watch how I do things and figure out how to do things better. I’ve never seen me as a blind person. I’d like to witness my own resourcefulness, see how I solve problems. If I saw my blind self from a sighted perspective, how would I look? I live in a sighted world. I’d like to know how other people see me. Maybe I’d understand both sides better
I like to think that I’d be grateful for one day of vision. I don’t want to resent it as a miserly expression of someone’s sense of fairness. Wishing is not a waste of time and does not mean that I am doing a lousy job of accepting life as it is. I refute the suggestion that to wish for something not likely to occur will only make me sad or bitter or both. I seek not to escape, but to understand and appreciate.
And when my day of vision ends, let me be grateful for what I have. Let me not resent those who have what I lack. Let me strive to make better that which I possess. Let me find peace and bring that peace to others.
[Note: While the writer helps his wife recuperate from surgery and gets over his own cold, he has revised this story from summer, 2011, and presents it to you now]