There are a few things I am very passionate about.
My family. My writing. The mountains where I grew up. My health (and the level of fitness).
These are what keep me moving forward. They are why I get up each morning.
I “retired” from working full-time (due to the progressive vision loss) in January 2015.
At the age of 44.
This was a bittersweet moment.
Four months earlier, I stood beside my Dad’s hospital bed along with my Mom and siblings as he took his last breath.
That was one of the most difficult days of my life, yet I was glad to be a part of that journey for him as he passed on to the next life.
I was about to move on to a new life as well.
We’d (my husband and 11-year-old son at the time) been living in North Carolina for nearly 15 years when we decided to sell our suburbia home for a small farmstead up in North Dakota where he’d taken a government job.
It was a good move for the family.
I’d missed living out in the country.
For many years, we lived in a county of a million people then moved to a state that had only 760,000!
Both my husband and son thrived.
I did as well.
I reconnected with my runner self which was nearly impossible back in North Carolina with the traffic and long workdays we put in.
Our little farmstead of 14 acres is surrounded by crop fields and miles and miles of dirt roads.
I revel in this as I go out on daily walks and runs, rain or shine.
Winters are long and cold, but the house is expansive with room for a treadmill.
When I’m not doing tasks around the house, I write.
It feels good to finally have a flexible schedule.
But, I was a bit lonely.
Shortly after our move, I discovered a place in the nearby city of Grand Forks, North Dakota Vision Services (and School for the Blind).
Here I can spend up to a week (two to three times a year) learning new skills and meeting other adults with varying degree of vision loss.
Through this School and meeting new people there, I learned that even though I am slowly losing my sight, there are still ways to pursue my passion in life.
And to never limit myself because of my disability.
There were times earlier on when I’d given up on my dreams because I felt there were no opportunities for someone like me – a deafblind.
I was wrong.
And happily so.
I just wished I had discovered this place and these people sooner.
Yet, there is a reason why I didn’t.
Only God knows.
Which means – another good reason to get out of bed tomorrow morning!