Don’t Surrender to Invisible

A Better Day is Comin’ 


Image taken from Morguefile Royalty Free Photos
Image taken from Morguefile Royalty Free Photos

35-Day Author Blog Challenge – Day 17

A young man has been on my heart lately. My younger brother’s worker who was just twenty-five years old. On the outside *Bobby looked and acted fine, happy even.  “A hard worker. A farmer’s kid,” Don said, stunned when he received the news of Bobby’s death from the equally shell-shocked mother.

“He just didn’t show up to work. I never expected to hear this.”  

Twice Bobby’s age, Don couldn’t get his mind around the loss of such a nice, seemingly well-adjusted kid. My brother grieved. Is still grieving. We all are. I recall how pleased Don was early last summer when he hired Bobby, the man with the good work ethic. 

Yes, Bobby worked hard and kept his mouth shut. He didn’t raise any flags or cause any trouble. Since his death, Don has taken a closer look at the life of his employee, a man he valued and considered his friend despite the difference in their ages. My brother learned about some of Bobby’s challenges that he wasn’t aware of before. Hidden things that Bobby struggled with. Difficult-to-discern problems only a few knew about. 

Challenges others could have advised him on had they only known. But neither his friends nor Don really knew the details of what life was like day-in and day-out. 

How like Retinitis Pigmentosa is that? How like our invisible struggle!  

To the world we look as if nothing out of the ordinary is going on. There are no tell-tale signs, except for the tripping over obstacles we don’t see.  Our challenges are invisible unless someone looks close-up at our lives day-in and day-out. 

I know. As our vision loss progresses, so do the challenges. They get bigger and harder to hide. They can feel overwhelming. 

I lived in denial for twenty-five years. I told so few people. I didn’t want to share that vulnerable part of myself or believe it existed because my life would change. Admitting that all was not what it appeared was like admitting to weakness – in my mind.

How silly – and yet that’s how many of us with RP live for a long time. 

In frustration because we’re carrying around secret challenges.

It gets darker and darker so we can’t see a better day is comin’.  

I so wish I could have told Bobby, “Don’t let these times of challenge define you. Don’t let them decide your life. A better day is comin’.” 

It’s always coming. People care. They just don’t understand what’s going on. 

Let’s not surrender to invisible – the things no one sees outwardly.

Those with RP have a hidden genetic disease that affects our eyes, that play tricks on us. We can’t see an object though it’s there. So we trip and fall. Sometimes we get hurt. In a moment, someone lends a hand or we pick ourselves up. The light comes from somewhere – a night light, a lamp, a window. Inside ourselves. God.

The light of hope. A better day is comin’.

Bobby had a hidden frame of mind that affected his morale. For a moment, his mind played tricks on him. He couldn’t see the the way ahead, though it was there. He tripped and fell over some obstacles – maybe only one. Maybe everything seemed blurry. He didn’t feel for the hands waiting to help him up. Or search for the glimmers of light from somewhere. Even inside himself. 

He missed the light of hope. That a better day was comin’.

Friends, please don’t surrender to invisible.

If people don’t understand your challenges, overcome that reticence. Make them aware. Don’t entrench yourself in denial, anger, bitterness or give in to the temporary. 

Find the light- as evasive as it may be. 

A better day is comin’ 

You’ll see it. 

Grains of light and dark
Light and dark grains of wood on a table – Free Image from Morguefile

Do you see the light grains are wider than the dark? That’s the light of hope. 

There’s always a better day coming. 

*Bobby is a fictitious name for a real person. 

Can you think of a time in your life when things looked dark – physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially? How did it change? How did you see the light of hope? Share it in the comments below. 

You have just read, “Don’t Surrender to Invisible,” by Amy L. Bovaird.  Copyright September 29, 2015.  

Don’t Surrender to Invisible
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10 thoughts on “Don’t Surrender to Invisible

  • September 30, 2015 at 5:15 am

    Hi Amy,

    I don’t suffer from RP, but I do remember telling you that I struggle with partial blindness. The days ahead are going to be rough ones. I can already feel the strain. Not being able to focus my eyes, unable to see far ahead through the windshield to drive.

    I think the one thought that troubles me the most is not being able to design graphics, or being able to see the paper to write or keyboard to type. I don’t relish the idea of losing total sight, and my husband doesn’t get it.

    Better days ahead…. Amen to that!

    – Bonnie

  • September 30, 2015 at 9:15 am

    When my husband betrayed me after a second chance, I thought my whole life had been wasted. I took advice from a woman I worked for and left for the other side of the world. I arrived in a strange country with just two suitcases.
    But, thanks to more advice, I found a live-in job as a nanny within a week. I’ve never let circumstances defeat me again.

  • September 30, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    THANK GOODNESS, Francene!
    Losses like this are devastating. And yet you took such a courageous step! And it changed you. You allowed a great loss to become a point of resilience. Wishing you strength and joy in your present circumstances.
    Amy xx

  • September 30, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Hi Bonnie,
    It’s as devastating when our loved ones don’t get it. Is there some simulated goggles or something that you can have him wear for a time that will help him to better understand your challenges? I have heard of them. I have a pair to help my audience see what it’s like for me. Someone gave them to me but if you’d like, I can find out the source. I totally understand your fears and anguish. You’ve probably had a low vision evaluation but if you haven’t that is very encouraging because the specialist can give you many suggestions as to what devices to maximize your vision. Technology is changing at a rapid rate and you are so forward-thinking that will be able to find programs to continue your passion.
    Amy xx

  • September 30, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    I had a friend who had dark thoughts. We often spoke about dark stuff, but part of me thought it was just our shtick. Then he started to get out of control and I couldn’t deal with his self destructive and ‘woe is me’ attitude and we fell out. Then a year, or so later, I found out he’d ended it.

    Part of me still feels awful that I ditched him when I did, but part of me realises that if I had stuck around I wouldn’t have been able to help.

    All you can really do is be supportive to people who need it and hope they don’t do anything rash.

  • September 30, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    Sorry for your friend, Nick.
    I hear you. Sometimes you can point them to someone who can help them. Some people do have a natural propensity toward dark thoughts. But in my experience, there is always a root cause and if they can get past that, things lighten up a bit. I wonder if a person changes his or her style of music if that helps change their outlook — or if that is the result of the changed outlook!
    thanks for your comment, Nick.

  • October 1, 2015 at 1:31 am

    Good blog post! I can’t really relate because I haven’t really been in that situation but I do understand.

  • October 1, 2015 at 2:00 am

    Thanks, Corey.
    Yes, it might be difficult to understand the challenges of vision loss if you have never experienced it. That’s true. But I think that we are often in the situation to support a friend who may be going through depression. And listening is important. Remember that being a sounding board, while it might take some time, is rewarding.
    Thanks very much for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  • October 1, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    When I was sixteen I was living with newlybegun chronic pain and I became very depressed.
    I was having lots od dark thoughts and I swore my rare syndrome that caused my blindness and kidney disease and scoliosis was going to result in even more awful illness and disease and possibly even worse. I was down for a long time. It is easy to slip back there, as Ive always dealt with the idea that I may never be able to have kids, stuff like that. I fear losing more sight and falling back into that dark place again. It’s sad when people don’t make it out.

  • October 1, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Hi Kerry.
    I can’t imagine going through so much pain and challenge. I remember your hospitalization I’m sorry you had to experience that dark period. I’m so glad that you are able to shift your focus onto the interests that you have: your writing, movies, travel right now. When the time comes, I hope it’s a positive outcome and you’ll be able to have as many children as you desire. Take it day by day and keep people in the loop.
    Amy xx

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