Sunday, March 24, 2013

Today's battle, tomorrow's victory

Many uncertainties surrounding Jude have subsided.  And, it appears an early fear of ours- Jude's brain development and abilities- were not affected by his microphthalmia.  Daily we observe him communicating verbally, moving around the house to explore his environment and enjoying his brothers' company.  We experience and rejoice in these blessings at every turn.

Admittedly, we feel as though we've dodged a bullet in this regard.  Judging by the tests initially administered on our son, we easily could have been dealing with additional diagnoses.  As it is, blindness is Jude's obstacle.  And while we feel fortunate in many regards, blindness happens to be a huge obstacle in our world today.

So, on one hand we take comfort in this, and on the other, we live with the reality that we must prepare a blind child to become an independent, self-sufficient man without sight.  Even though our son is healthy, I would consider our present state critical; where time not won is wasted.  Why so dire, you might ask?

Sighted or not, the first few years of a child's development are the most crucial.  It is in this stage that a child develops the basic abilities which off of all other abilities build.  Children in this time, largely through observation, will learn the social norms and rules of their environments.  No one can underestimate the power of learning through our visual experiences.

Now, take those observable experiences away, and here you have Jude's greatest challenge as he develops: learning how to interact and coexist with the sighted world.  Each morning, Joanna and I wake up aware of the opportunities held in a new day.  This means investing more time into our routines, just so Jude doesn't miss what is otherwise observable to you and me.

This is where the Children's Center for the Visually Impaired comes in.  A parent's love can only do so much, and among the hardest things Joanna and I have had to admit, is the fact that we alone are not equipped to provide Jude all he needs to flourish.  But like a parent depending on a physician to save his or her sick child, we lean on the CCVI and its expertise to uplift our Jude-boy.

A year ago I pleaded with you to consider donating to or joining our Trolley Run team because we had no clue what the future held for our son and his abilities.  Today, with a clearer understanding of Jude's diagnosis, I make an ever more impassioned plea; this time because I've seen his future.  And, if I ever doubted it before, I doubt no more that his life can be beautiful.  Jude's life can be full.  Truly, it hinges on today and this moment and the next.

Join us, won't you?

St. Jude: Pray for us.

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