I think it’s time to wind down. I could do with a shower and some hot cocoa with marshmallows, in that order. I’ll sleep well tonight. The winter sun set early making the days seem even longer. I left my computer to lock the doors downstairs, and my own door to the apartment.
Oh no, I forgot to save my file. In the midst of safeguarding my current piece of writing, I heard a sound nearby. You silly kitten. What did you find in the trash? What did I throw out that I shouldn’t have?
I lifted the kitten out of the deep trash can where he was rummaging, pulled out the mostly empty bag and tied it shut. No more. This is going out in the garage. I had to be quick with the door so Rusty would not escape into the garage, his newest playground.
A few steps and the trash landed nicely in the barrel. I shivered. Now for that shower …. I reached for the doorknob and turned it. One way. Then the other.
Oh no, I forgot to unlock the double lock. Now I’ve done it. I shivered in my shirt sleeves in the cold garage. When I tried the door again, as if expecting different results, Rusty scratched on the other side – as if doing his best to let me in. More likely, he remember how “fun” the garage could be. Yeah, fun.
With my cell phone inside, I knew I had to use someone else’s phone to ask for help. But how could I go in the cold without a coat, boots or my white cane? I had a bit of good luck when I saw an old rack we used to display clothing we sold at garage sales.
I rummaged through the clothes and found a worn fall hoody. That would do. A further search revealed an old red sweater of my mom’s. Good. I put on the button-down sweater and, with difficulty, zipped up the tight jacket. Now, for my feet. Walking across the street in my socks didn’t appeal to me at all.
I padded through the garage and let myself into the second garage. My brother’s shoes sat neatly outside the back door. I slipped my feet into the laced sport shoes. They looked four times too big! But I had no choice.
I opened the garage door, a blast of artic air hit me. Brrr. I curled my toes to keep from stepping out of my brother’s shoes. In a comical half-dragging, half-stepping movement with stops and starts, I headed around the house. Without my white cane, I had to feel for the pebbles of the granite pathway that led to the front porch.
Whoops. Off the path. Whoa. That’s a bush. Where am I walking?
By trial and error, I finally made it to the front porch. I looked longingly at the neighbor’s house to the right. We never communicated in the daylight, let alone on a cold dark evening. I would just have to cross the street to a neighbor I knew well.
First, I had to find the sidewalk off the front porch leading to the driveway. What a maze. The green – or was it blue – lights my brother put up to honor the military didn’t help one iota. Dad would have made him change them to regular bulbs. But my dad was no longer on earth to regulate our life. I didn’t mind them except on a night like tonight.
Scrape. Move. Scrape. Lift. With care, I made my way from the driveway to the street, feeling for the walkway to the neighbor’s front door. Made it. In the darkness, I could not find the doorbell, so I rapped sharply on the door.
The husband, an eighty-year-old man, opened the door.
There I stood, with a red sweater hanging down under a too-tight bulging hoodie wearing clown-like white sport shoes. “Hi Mr. N, I’ve locked myself out again.”
“Amy? Honey, it’s Amy. Where’s your white cane? Oh, it’s cold. What do ya’ have on your feet? Come in.”
I stepped out of the oversized sneakers and explained my situation, apologizing for the late hour.
“Don’t worry. Have a seat,” Mr. N said.
“I can’t afford a locksmith this time,” I groaned. A few years earlier I had locked myself out and our only recourse had been to call one.
Mrs. N fussed nicely over me. “Why don’t you call your younger brother?”
“Good idea.” Actually, his number was the only one I knew by memory. All the others were stored on my cell phone speed dial. Unfortunately, it rang and rang. Finally, my sister-in-law answered.
“Julie, I’m at the neighbor’s. I’m locked out.”
“What about Mike?” She was referring to my older brother, with whom I shared the house. “He isn’t home?”
“No.” I sounded pitiful, like one of my kitten’s.
“Can you have Donnie call him. I don’t know his number. Tell him to come home.”
“Okay, hang tight. We’ll call you back after we talk to Mike.”
While I waited, Mrs. N offered to make me a cup of hot tea. “Yes, that would be great.”
Julie rang me back even before the water boiled. “Mike says, he left the keys in your mom’s car.”
“Really?” Normally that would tick me off. How many times had I reminded him to put them where they belonged in the house? But I sure was happy that evening.
“Dear, your tea is ready.” She placed a cup and saucer on the end table. “No, you get down,” Mrs. N scolded her poodle, “That’s for Amy.”
I gulped down the hot tea as we chatted about Mr. N’s surprise birthday party. “I really need to go,” I apologized. “That’s great that you had two parties.”
Mrs. N bustled into action. She threw on a coat and said, “I’ll walk you home. You don’t have your cane.”
I didn’t argue. Her offer came as a relief.
She lent me her arm and even with my grip-slide movement, we made it home rapidly. At home in the garage, I picked up the h-e-a-v-y key ring, which held about fifteen different keys. How would I ever find the one to back door?
Mrs. N and I tried the keys without much luck. “We need a system,” she said, “So we are not repeating the same keys.” She sounded frustrated.
Just then my sister-in-law popped into the garage.
“I got worried when I didn’t hear back from you.”
“Sorry, I had a cup of hot tea and I’m just now getting in.”
Julie located the appropriate key right away. Mom used to leave a key out for her at various times.
Okay, dear, now that you are safely in, I’ll be on my way. Give us a spare key as soon as you can.”
I felt a pang of guilt. “Should we walk you home?” At her age, she shouldn’t be walking alone in the dark.
She laughed. “Me? No, I’ll be perfectly fine.”
Julie and I had a nice chat about that rascal Rusty. “It’s all his fault.” Well, not all. Who would ever guess my obsession in locking the doors would backfire on me?
Julie smiled. “This is a case of “Not better safe than sorry.”
I stepped out of my brother’s size twelve shoes for the last time, and entered the house.
“Don’t forget to lock the door,” Julie reminded just before I closed it.
Ha! I heard the heater kick on. Forget the shower. The kitchen register would do just fine. I stood on the grated bars and felt the heat warm me from my feet up. Growing up, we kids fought over it.
“It’s my turn now,” I said, quietly savoring the steady stream of heat. I felt so grateful to live in my childhood home, to have memories to fall back on and a history to embrace.
5 Stars “…I’m not vision impaired. I don’t read non-fiction for enjoyment. I am not what some might consider the target market for this book, but I can tell you that I would recommend it to my own teenagers, my husband, my teenage students, and anyone else I know as a book of bravery, encouragement, motivation, testimony, and just as a pleasure read. Don’t pass it by: You will be blessed.”–An Amazon Reader
–An Amazon Reader
5 Stars“Living in the Power instead of the fear!”
Mobility Matters elegantly shares Amy Bovaird’s emotions and experience which anyone going through vision loss can identify with. The transformation as she overcomes her fear and the enemies voices that her loss of vision will now define who she is as a person and dictate the rest of her life, will inspire hope to each reader. Amy’s journey stepping out in faith and how the Lord’s Word gave her the strength to keep going, is a must read.
This book is not only for those going through the hallway of vision loss, but for each family member or any one who loves someone losing their vision would also benefit by reading.
Mobility Matters Stepping out in Faith has left me thinking I will now call canes power sticks!!!
Michael Benson, Founder
Visual Experience Foundation
4 Stars “…As a mobility specialist myself, I found this book of great interest to me for its subject matter. I was quite amazed that Amy could get around on her own with her genetic condition, particularly at night, since individuals with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) tend to lose their night vision and are using a cane at night much sooner than Amy was using any assistive device (even a bright light). Amy maintained her positive attitude, her faith and her sense of humour. If only we all could do that in times of crisis!” –Kathryn Svendsen, Mobility Specialist, Canada
5 Stars “Couldn’t stop reading until I finished. Very inspirational. Will definitely be looking for more by this author!” –Sharon Hannah
5 stars “…This book really inspired me. Amy’s outlook on life is what I would like to model in my own. Yes, going blind SUCKS but she took it to another level. She made it into an adventure and I needed to be reminded of that again. Her positive outlook on this all has really encouraged me in my current situation now. Taking the step of faith to move on forward and embrace life for what it is. I highly recommend purchasing this book! Be inspired, take a journey behind the life of someone with Usher, smile, laugh, and enjoy! –Andi Nicole
5 Stars “As a person who lives with chronic illness, I sometimes get bogged down with books on illness that feel really heavy. This one does not. Author Amy Bovaird, who is losing her sight, writes so well about her personal experiences, I feel like I’m walking alongside her as I read. I kept coming back to the story to see what happened–was she going to let fear stop her? Would she overcome?
The lessons Amy learns through her experiences apply to any of us who fear aging, illness, new symptoms, or really anyone who needs some inspiration, and that reminder that much can be accomplished if you step out and forward–even when you cannot see beyond that first step. I definitely enjoyed this book. –Kimberly Rae, Bestselling Author of the Stolen Series
Blog post review by Gillian Davis, RP Tunnel of Sight
One of the best books I have ever read about mobility and white cane use is called Mobility Matters: Stepping out in Faith by Amy Bovard. It is funny, poignant and packs a lot of tips and useful information. You can find it by following the link below to Amy’s web page and listen to a chapter before you buy, it is wonderful.