The things that we pass down

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The things that we pass down

This week it’s half term in the U.K. meaning the schools are closed for the week. I always cherish any time we have as a family together and probably more than most due to my ever declining sight. My wife Amy works in the same school that my son Austin goes to which means our time together as a family is in line with the school holidays. This week though is not our average week off school. For those of you who read last weeks blog you will know that I’m currently in the middle of a film project that aims to capture a very personal account of what it’s like transitioning from low vision to no longer being able to see faces clearly. This is the stage I currently find myself at and I felt it important to give others a realistic glimpse into how this stage impacts those like me but also my family.

As part of this film it aims to capture moments with my children especially my son Austin who due to my Retinitis Pigmentosa has a one in two chance of losing his sight like me when he’s older. This is something that causes me and my wife great heartache but also emboldens us with strength to show him and our other children that disability isn’t an excuse to do less but a reason to do more. This is the message I want to pass down to my children. I want them to face life’s challenges head on knowing that although it’s perfectly natural to feel scared at times that fear doesn’t need to stop us in our tracks. We are capable of achieving anything we set our minds to.

So now when I think of what I’ll pass down to my children I don’t think about the hereditary blindness that lives inside of me I think of the lessons we teach them and the examples we set everyday.

Every single day we have opportunities to create lasting memories. Laughter, smiles moments that we don’t need vision to see in our hearts and feel for a lifetime.

I hope this reminder will inspire you to create that magic today.

I know that you are proud of me and glad that I’m your Dad

and though you understand my sight sometimes it makes you sad

You’ve told me during story time you wish my eyes weren’t blind

and hate the way it spoils the day

when my smile I can’t find

But everyone has challenges

this life is often tough

and even though you’re only 8

you understand enough

For we are in agreement that we wouldn’t change a thing

there’s far too many gifts to shift the pain that blindness brings

And if I wasn’t here today your Dad and The Blind Poet

life wouldn’t feel so precious

We are blessed and we both know it