Amy Bovaird suffers from Retinitis Pigmentosa, a progressive vision disorder. Yet she is the primary caregiver for her aging mother. Below is an example of how Amy finds hope in her daily adventures – even in a pair of pink slippers.
“Make sure you don’t drop my hearing aids,” my mother warned, as she did every morning. I’ve never once dropped them.
As a capable vision-impaired person, I rolled my eyes and feigned a pleasant tone. “Don’t worry. I won’t.”
Mom seemed impatient, maybe because her wrist hurt. After a fall down the stairs, she was scheduled for more X-rays.
I fumbled in the dim kitchen and tried to make hot tea to suit Mom. She insisted I pour exactly one cup of water into the kettle. Because it wasn’t a whistling tea kettle, my mother made it a competition between us as to who could see the steam rise first.
If she noticed it, she urgently alerted me. “The tea water’s boiling away! Hurry up, turn it off.” This time, thankfully, I saw the steam first.
Later, we moved to the bedroom so I could help Mom dress. After I snagged Mom’s cast in the sleeve of her robe, I tried to wrestle it free without hurting her.
When I lifted her long underwear shirt off, her head got stuck in the neck opening. “Hey! That’s my head, you know.”
“Sorry, I couldn’t see. If you’re going to be mean, I’m not going to help you.”
“You’re the mean one.”
“I didn’t ask for this job, but this is what I have to do,” I mumbled, proceeding to help her dress.
Later that day, I said, “Here Mom, let’s take your shoes off and change into your slippers.” I bent over to remove her slippers.
She pointed to her left foot. “Look! You put one on backwards.”
“Are you kidding me?”
She laughed. “See for yourself!”
I noticed the dainty pink bow in the back of the slipper and laughed, too. How could I have missed that pretty pink bow? It reminded me of the finishing touch on a gift.
That’s when it hit me: with my poor vision and the stress of caregiving, I’d missed out on seeing Mom as a gift.
Too many times, we develop frustration toward the challenges God allows in our lives without realizing these are like speed bumps to slow us down and appreciate what He’s given us.
I needed to turn that slipper around in order to see the bow. Just like I needed to turn my feelings around in order to see that my beautiful mother was one of the greatest gifts God has ever given me.
Amy L. Bovaird guest posts on my blog today. She is a specialist in second language acquisition. Amy’s career has taken her to Latin America, South East Asia and the Middle East. Because she suffers from Retinitis Pigmentosa, a progressive vision disorder, Amy’s stories highlight her determination to see the world, even though for her, it may be just a little out of focus. You can read more of Amy’s adventures at www.amyboaird.com.
I LOVE the editing work you did
You did a great job, Amy! Thanks for this wonderful and poignant post.
Good work, Amy! We missed you at the Christian Writers Conference!
We sure did! Maybe next year.
Amy, this was a good insight (no pun intended). Blessings, sk
Love it, Suzan!