Night Walking & Maira

I guess you could call today “Maira Eve” and as I have been thinking about my life and events that lead to this very day I thought I’d update the original posting. This post tells of how I came to understand that I needed to have a dog.

For the past four years I have referred to Maira as “Eyelette” as all things living need a name. I’ve even had a tiny transitional object to pull out of a drawer or sit upon a desktop when things seemed grim. Right now it just seems surreal. This REALLY is happening!!

It has been a long journey and tomorrow at 0930 I will be at KNGF to begin my two-week intensive work of becoming a partner with Maira. What is in store for me? I don’t fully understand at this moment. I am packing my bag and will find out in the morning. So now for those who will walk with me and remember that night of several years past…..

Night Walking

Late this last November I found myself waiting for my husband; we were to meet at the shopping area. My iPhone went dead and I was scared. It was dark and windy and I knew I’d have trouble walking anywhere. I almost left the stairs, where I was sitting in hopes that he’d look for me there, to go look for our car. I should have known that the car was there…where it always was. But fear kept me on the stairs. Had I left I’d have found the car and safety. I was to discover that I had been doing a dangerous dance on a roof top with a skylight.

I finally decided to walk to get the bus. I was scared. The thing about being half blind (or so I thought) is that bumps in the sidewalk aren’t your friends. Bumps can really hurt you. SO I walked in the street….but then the streets here in Europe can be bumpy as well. The streets everywhere are bumpy. It just doesn’t pay to try to stay safe or sane when you can’t see the road. I was walking SCARED. In my mind I was dancing on a skylight and trying to calm myself and telling myself that I would be just fine. I was scared because about 10 years ago some nut with night blindness hit me and I fractured my L1. I was scared for some good reasons. In feeling the fear I realized that my vision was far worse than I had ever admitted to myself.

Normally hubby is my “Seeing Eye hubby” and I depend upon him. But hubby was in some unknown place and I was scared. I was all alone and there was no one to help guide me. I made it to the bus which was a good ten minute walk. Then I had to face the walk home; which in many ways was even more terrifying. You know you are severely low vision when you have a dark street with a dim light and you think that you know the road but don’t know where the bumps are. All at once I realized that I didn’t know the road at all. I had to make a decision: walk fast or walk slow? I just walked. All I wanted was a phone and a warm house. More than that though: I didn’t want to fall on my face.

After what seemed like a horrible forever I could see the house and then the car and the door. I crashed through the metaphorical skylight. The tears and mixed emotions exploded within a safe house. I was grateful that I had made it home. Jon, who was upset and concerned, came to me. At that moment I realized that I would never feel as safe as I once had before. That crash was just the first.

Life can be a terrifying dance routine with a choreographer gone mad. That is when you slam through the skylight. This is when your soul sinks and you discover that you are frail. Then and only then can you realize that you have been dancing on a roof top with a skylight.

In the next days I began the search for the “doggie” school. After a week of looking I knew that I needed to approach KNGF. I made the call. The darkness has served as a reminder that I am not safe. The naive woman who was dancing on a skylight is no more.

Today

Jon is downstairs cooking a dinner and I am wondering what will unfold next. As I look back over the past few years it has been quite a ride. The Loo Erf, the beginnings of a new private practice. It will be a new dawn in the morning. I can’t wait!!!!

Advertisements

About Gail Nicolaysen-Shurtleff

I am an American who is living in The Netherlands. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist with a license to practice in California. Music has been a huge part of my life. Singing is something you can find me doing at any time and anywhere. I have to admit that I try to not sing while out in public though. You can also find me in the kitchen cooking up wonderful things. cooking is something that I have just recently (in the last ten years) discovered that I'm talented at doing, and it is really fun. The best way to know me is to read my blog.
This entry was posted in Disability and Life. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Night Walking & Maira

  1. Afroditi says:

    Best of luck with Maira! I think two petite ladies will make a great team:-)

  2. Anadeane Galbraith says:

    Such an interesting narrative; very descriptive. I think you will love having Maira in your life.

  3. Gail Nicolaysen-Shurtleff says:

    Thanks, Denise, I think I’m not going to get much sleep tonight.

  4. Denise says:

    Good luck. Hope all goes well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s