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Happy New Years! – Article from my Mom :)

01 Jan

 Happy New Years my friends!  Can you believe that it is already 2015 – Where did 2014 go?  Today, I’m going to do something a little different here on my blog.  I want to share with you something that my mother wrote recently on handicaps.  It may be a little long, but I hope you take the time to read it.  I think this will be perfect to start this new year with awareness and kindness and paying it forward.  Enjoy and let me know what you think 🙂

Let’s play a game.  Close your eyes, tight now no looking.  Now, I want you to try to do things around your house.  Go to the kitchen and get a drink; try going to the bathroom; turning the television on; or making a phone call.  Can you do it?  Can you remember the layout of your home?  Can you remember what your phone looks like and where the numbers are?  What about the remote control?

 These are all problems that my husband encounters everyday.  You see in 2004, he was in a minor car accident and almost died. That’s right I said minor accident.  He was only going 30 miles per hour when a car accident happened and his airbags deployed.  The force of the airbags against his chest caused massive blood clots in his lungs.  He was in intensive care for nearly 12 weeks coming close to death several times.  In fact at one point, the doctors asked mommy if she believed in miracles because it was time to start praying for one. 😦

Within two years of his accident and many, MANY surgeries that we lost count, he lost his vision.  This is not a story to say, “Oh dear, you poor thing”.  This is a story to enlighten people, restaurants and businesses.  Handicaps are not just visibly seen by wheelchairs, walkers or canes.  Some handicaps you would never know unless you knew the person.  This is my husband Jim.  He does everything we do just with a little help.

 When we go out together, we are always holding hands.  This is something that we have always done for the 26 years we have been together.  But now, it’s also to help guide Jim.  He doesn’t use a cane and it’s not because of vanity.  Jim and others with vision impairments want to be ‘normal’ as much as they can be and I can deal with that.  Wouldn’t you?  He does everything you and I do but just with a little help.

 When we go out to eat, we hold hands walking to the table.  If you are close enough to hear us, you might hear me say, “Walk straight, your chair is to the left.”  And you will see Jim walk straight to his chair just like he ‘saw it’.  You may hear me discussing the menu just like regular people do on, “What do you want to eat?”  You might even hear me tell him when the food comes to the table, “Chicken on the bottom, green beans to the left and corn to your right.”  But other than that, Jim can eat all by himself just like a big boy. 🙂  So, you might not ‘see’ that he has a visual impairment.  And after dinner when we walk to the car, you will see Jim open my car door for me and then walk to his side and get in.  Does that ‘look’ like a handicap to you?

 But here is where we need to step up in businesses and restaurants.  We are all for a little romantic dinner in a restaurant where the mood is set and the lights are low.  But some restaurants tend to push the envelope a little more these days.  But for someone with a visual handicap that might ‘see’ perhaps a little light to guide them, a little mood set with lights low makes them completely blind.  The little bit of tunnel vision Jim might have in one eye is now completely blocked by low light setting and where he might be able to look ‘naturally’ before now he can’t.  You add the low lighting with a white table cloth and white dishes, he is going to stumble around on his plate.  His drink might get bumped.  He may drop his napkin.  Waiters/Waitresses – please note this is not something that he is doing ‘on purpose’.  Please don’t say something to him negatively.  Please don’t “talk down” to him like a child.  And by all means watch what you say not to insult.  People with vision impairments don’t do these things on purpose.  They don’t want the extra attention.  They want to feel normal in every aspect that they can.  When we ask for a table with a little more light, don’t make a big deal by the request.  I mean we could eat at home and we often do but don’t we all want to go out from time to time?

 And bathrooms in public – sigh.  More businesses and restaurants really need to come up family bathrooms.  We have come across these in our travels and they are fabulous!  Why do you ask?  Well, hopefully in your own home you know the layout of your bathroom.  But in a strange place, can you imagine closing your eyes and feeling your way around in a bathroom when you have to potty?  There have been a lot of times that I will walk Jim to the door, open it and try to peak in to tell him where everything is – beware men – I’m not trying to look at what you are doing 🙂 Really, I’m not.

 If you see someone that is acting ‘off’ and it doesn’t ‘show’ that they have a handicap, they may just have a visual handicap that you don’t see.  Instead of walking by or acting like you might catch it, why don’t you stop and chat.  Don’t worry, they won’t bite.  Believe me, just because they are visually impaired,  they do have a sense of humor still.

If they are trying to go to the restroom, why don’t you volunteer to guide them.  Trust me, they won’t hesitate for your help.  If they drop their flatware on the floor, why don’t you replace it and touch their shoulder and say, “No problem sir”.  If you have someone that asks for a more lit table, don’t belittle them or act like it’s a big deal – accommodate

And don’t think Jim is being a snob if he doesn’t shake your hand when you offer yours.  Just a heads up – most people with a visual impairment can’t see your hand.  🙂  Sometimes it helps if you touch their shoulder and say, “Good to meet you”.  And of course, if I’m there I will be glad to tell Jim your arm is extended.  Don’t worry.  You can shake hands.  You won’t catch his blindness.

Most handicapped people don’t want a free pass.  They want to feel like they fit in and can still do what they once could.  Jim is the same.  He knows our house like the back of his hand.  He takes care of the kids and the house.  He can clean like you wouldn’t believe!  He makes the beds.  He does all of the laundry.  He does the dishes.  He can cook for himself.  Astonishing huh?  It just takes a few tweaks on my part to make his life like it once was.  The microwave is marked, the washing machine is marked, the dryer is marked – all with little tabs that he can ‘feel’ to turn on and off.

 I’m not writing this story for sympathy.  I’m not writing this story for money.  I’m writing this story for knowledge on visual impairments.  The next time you see someone with a visual problem – where you see it with someone using a cane or being guided by someone, don’t fear them or treat them differently.  Be kind and helpful.  And hey – why not even help their caregiver out for a while.  Do you know that must people with visual impairments still like to do things for their loved ones.  This has been one of the biggest downfalls to Jim’s vision.  There are times that he would love to go get me a card or some flowers but how can he when he can’t drive himself to do such a wonderful gesture?  Perhaps if you know someone with a visual problem, offer to take them out for such a trip 🙂

In the new year let’s start practicing a little Luke 6:31, “Do to others as you want them to do to you”.  Happy New Years!

 
59 Comments

Posted by on 01/01/2015 in Bacon

 

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59 responses to “Happy New Years! – Article from my Mom :)

  1. Mumsy's Little Chancy Man

    01/01/2015 at 1:17 am

    What a heartfelt and absolutely wonderful post. There is just not enough compassion and caring in this world. It just goes beyond my understanding how some people can treat those with special needs like they have a contagious disease. And why they can’t show some caring when it comes to them needing help. We have over the faced several situations similar to those you mention here and we know exactly what you are talking about.

    We wish you all a Very Happy New Year and we hope that 2015 will be filled with love, happiness, good health, all you need to live comfortably and lots of hugs and nose kisses! Love and blessings to you all! Maggie, Gene, Chancy, Pooh and Baby Boy

     
    • PigLove

      01/01/2015 at 7:39 am

      Aaww. Thank you so very much for your lovely response. That was so sweet my dear friend! Life is already complicated enough to add in disabilties. We just try to make the best of it. Have a wonderful New Year! XOXO – Bacon

       
  2. sunsetdragon

    01/01/2015 at 1:32 am

    TY for this post and god bless you.
    Happy new years to you and yours.

     
    • PigLove

      01/01/2015 at 7:40 am

      Thank you my friend for taking the time to read it. Have an awesome New Year. Hogs and snout kisses. XOXO – Bacon

       
  3. gentlestitches

    01/01/2015 at 3:10 am

    Oh Bacon, I had no idea your Dad and Mom were dealing with this. Which shows how well they are dealing with it. I admire people who “get on with it” like they are. My fiance died of mesothelioma but even at the end he insisted on drying the dishes and folding the laundry. My heart broke for him but I was also proud of him that he concentrated on what he could do and not what he couldn’t. I also was genuinely glad of the help! Your Mom and Dad are quite inspirational and I am glad we have all met. Can you believe I started blogging to promote my classes and now I have a special pignew and friends in Georgia? HaHa. Bless all at Hotel Thompson. 😀 ❤

     
    • PigLove

      01/01/2015 at 7:43 am

      Aaww. Thank you Auntie Sharon. Mommy just wanted people to know that having a disability is 1- not contagious and 2-life goes on. Life is what you make it. Why be frustrates or made at the situation? Life is too short ro be unhappy 🙂 love you!! Your Piggy Nephew XOXO – Bacon

       
      • gentlestitches

        01/01/2015 at 5:26 pm

        Your parents and especially your Mom and especially your Dad are both pure awesomesauce. ❤

         
      • PigLove

        01/02/2015 at 9:45 am

        aaww thanks Auntie Sharon! XOXO – Bacon

         
  4. NotAPunkRocker

    01/01/2015 at 3:20 am

    M dated a girl for two years whose father was deaf and blind due to Usher syndrome. He got cochlear implants so he could hear, but nothing can be done about his vision.

    I remember him saying he wanted to do the cane training (to eventually get a guide dog) but the instructors were hard to find, even through insurance or related agencies.

    Thank you for sharing your husband’s story. Happy new year to y’all!

     
    • PigLove

      01/01/2015 at 7:44 am

      Aaww. Thank you my friend. I really appreciate you taking the time to read this. It means a lot to us. Have a fantastic New Year!! XOXO – Bacon

       
  5. onespoiledcat

    01/01/2015 at 5:54 am

    What a wonderfully written article with some insight into the truly special relationship your Mom and Dad have there at Hotel Thompson! It’s wonderful that life for you all is as it should be – together – supportive – full of love and understanding. That’s what the whole WORLD needs and it “starts at home”. Carrying on with life no matter what comes at us is the best way to handle the best and worst of things life hands us. Bravo to all of you for just being the loving family you are – with enough love to spread around to all of us who are lucky enough to know you!!!!

    Happy New Year!
    Hugs, Pam and Sammy

     
    • PigLove

      01/01/2015 at 7:51 am

      Aaww. Thank YOU my cousin. LIfe is way too short not to be happy and go with what you know. One of my moms favorite sayings is, “Grow where you are planted”. This is where we are planted and what life has thrown at us – make the best of it and be happy. Happy New Year and happy birthday my dear sweet cousin! XOXO – Bacon

       
      • Melon

        01/03/2015 at 9:31 pm

        What a great saying. I’ll have to think about that one.

         
  6. Reilly & Denny

    01/01/2015 at 8:15 am

    we so agree – our Mom too suffers with challenges – she has had Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus since she was 21 and there are so many things she struggles with too – Like doors at restaurants trying to hold giant glasses of drink, holding giant knives and forks and hard wooden chairs (Cracker Barrel) is on her desperate list – she will only go there if desperate because of the seating. We also agree with the lighting – and music because we have found as Mom’s vision decreases her hearing is becoming more acute and music in restaurants can be deafening. Thank you for such a great post 🙂

     
    • PigLove

      01/01/2015 at 8:51 am

      Aaww. Thanks my friends! I really appreciate this. We can so relate to your mom. My mom has issues with items as well. People need to be aware of the “invisible” disabilities that peeps fight with every day that are not so visible at first glance. Hogs and snout kisses. XOXO – Bacon

       
    • fozziemum

      01/08/2015 at 4:50 am

      That is really interesting guys as when my vision plays up it seems as if everything is too loud ..xx

       
  7. Nikitaland

    01/01/2015 at 8:42 am

    Thank you for sharing your story. Compassion is something that everyone should have. When I help the little old ladies load groceries in their car, or return their carts for them, they thank me but also looked puzzled. Puzzled probably because not too many people do things like this anymore, and we should. Help those who need our help! The world would be a better place. Love and hugs to all of you at Hotel Thompson!

     
    • PigLove

      01/01/2015 at 8:55 am

      Awesome reply my friend. Thank you so very much. I think in general in todays society, people forget to do the nice little things for others. So much so that when you do something – like hold the door or let someone on traffic – they don’t know what to so… Not even a mumble of thank you. Its time to change this and retrain people to do onto others as you would want them to do to you. XOXO – Bacon

       
      • Nikitaland

        01/01/2015 at 9:49 am

        I agree wholeheartedly! BE NICE, AND NICE HAPPENS BACK TO YOU!

         
      • PigLove

        01/01/2015 at 10:08 am

        Amen! XOXO – Bacon

         
      • Nikitaland

        01/01/2015 at 9:50 am

        The more I think of it Bacon, we should start something new together this year and have everyone tell us the “nice” things that they did for someone during the week. It would encourage others to “pay it forward”.

         
      • PigLove

        01/01/2015 at 10:09 am

        Oh squeals. That does sound awesome. Can you email me at baconthompson@gmail.com please to discuss? XOXO – Bacon

         
      • Nikitaland

        01/01/2015 at 12:47 pm

        Will do!

         
  8. katiebblogs

    01/01/2015 at 8:57 am

    Bacon, I had no idea. This was such a beautiful post and so wonderful of you to share your very private story. How well written. Your mom and dad have such a special and most certainly trusting relationship. I can’t imagine the struggles and the fear as that happened years ago but to be able to write about this and share it is so helpful for others experiencing the same. Lots of love and hugs to you. Happy New Year!

     
    • PigLove

      01/01/2015 at 9:11 am

      Aaww. Thanks my sweet dear friends. We really appreciate your kind comments. Its not something that we really notice anymore because we have gotten used to it – even is anipals. We try to help out daddy as much as we can. In public though, people are hesitant over things they don’t know. Mommy was hoping this article would be thought provoking to help others out in this new year. Hogs and snout kisses. XOXO – Bacon

       
  9. Kate Crimmins

    01/01/2015 at 9:11 am

    Beautiful post. My friend has rheumatoid arthritis and her hands and feet are severely crippled. You would hardly know it because she manages so well. However, gripping with her hands is hard and it’s so nice when someone opens a door or does something to help. Vision is a hard one. Can’t even imagine going to a public bathroom and trying to manage.

     
    • PigLove

      01/01/2015 at 9:15 am

      Its the little obstacles that keep us on our toes when we were out. The good thing is that mom and dad fight these challenges head on. What once was a scary thought of living without vision has now become an every day action without hesitance. There are still moments for them both but one thing remains – they do it together and are a team through all ups, downs and challenges. XOXO – Bacon

       
  10. speedyrabbit

    01/01/2015 at 9:12 am

    Happy New Year Bacon my friend,You know mum and Me would love to be able to meet up with you cause it would be such a hoot,you have the most amazing Family at the Hotel Thompson,xx Speedy and Rachel

     
    • PigLove

      01/01/2015 at 9:16 am

      Aaww. Thanks my friend. We would love to meet with you too! I heard mom and dad talking last night about if they ever won the lottery, they would love to travel and meet all of my wonderful blogville friends. Hogs and snout kisses. XOXO – Bacon

       
  11. Lori Fontanes

    01/01/2015 at 10:29 am

    Oh, Bacon, thank you so much for sharing this story! Your folks have such courage and fortitude to deal with physical hardship (and so young!!!) I believe it truly helps others when we open up about our struggles. It’s easy to imagine sometimes that we are alone but, believe me, we/you are not. Here’s a big New Year’s Day hug to my blog buddies down in Georgia!!! PS, I’m cooking my mom’s Southern-style bean soup today and black-eye peas & collards soon to follow. Hang in there & many blessings for 2015!!!

     
    • PigLove

      01/01/2015 at 10:32 am

      Aaww. Thanks my sweet friend!! What time do we need to be there for dinner? Mom will bring cornbread 🙂 love you! Have a wonderful New Year!
      XOXO – Bacon

       
  12. Jovina Coughlin

    01/01/2015 at 10:42 am

    Happy New Year

     
  13. evilsquirrel13

    01/01/2015 at 11:10 am

    Well said. I was stunned as I was reading this, because like many others, I had absolutely no idea this was going on. But as Aunt Sharon already stated, it shows just how well you and your husband have already adapted to this. I will definitely keep this in mind when I am out and about…

    I don’t normally say this, but God bless both of you! 🙂

     
  14. purrfectkitties

    01/01/2015 at 12:22 pm

    What a wonderful post! Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year to you all! 😀 xx Roxy & Tigerlino ❤

     
  15. Traveling Cats

    01/01/2015 at 12:41 pm

    Happy new year!

     
  16. philosophermouseofthehedge

    01/01/2015 at 1:37 pm

    Bacon, what a wonderful post. (Definitely Fresh Press worthy, WP?)
    In 8th grade our homeroom teacher said “We have a new student, be nice to him.” And she went back to grading papers as it was no big deal. (This was loooong ago before mainstreaming not your average student was even tried)
    Glenn was assigned the seat behind me. He had been born blind. You’d never know it. It was tall, cute, and smart. And despite his parents’ pleas he refused canes and guide dogs. He was not different. …well, he did get to wear sunglasses all the time…it was cool at the time. Turns out he/his parents talked the large city school district into trying an experiment. Glenn came into to the school on weekends and late afternoons and walked the halls and outdoor walkways to outside class buildings such as science labs and wing. Memorized it all before showing up. He rarely asked if he could put his hand on your shoulder – except during fire drills, He did link arms and hold girl’s hands in the halls sometimes – not because he was blind. Being very smart he had clever slams and putdowns for anyone who annoyed him or tried to make him a victim. We elected him class president all the way until graduation (there were 1,000 students in our grad. class.
    We never thought of him as different or very brave although he was. At a graduation party at his house, he humorously greeted everyone with “So good to see you again” (such a big school, our Jr. high group and been split up in high school to different homerooms) I remember talking to him and he mentioned he didn’t sleep very much – night wasn’t much different than day as far as able to get stuff done. I said it was a little sad he never saw the stars, but he saw something we didn’t: complete absence of light. For seeing people, there always some tiny bit of light. He thought that was funny and hadn’t thought of it that way before. Anyway. Glen was great and I hadn’t thought of him in years – he was just so normal and ordinary to all of us. Although having been around him for years probably did affect how I see people and how I act.
    Your post may give some who haven’t been so lucky to know those who a bit different – or who have fretted what to do and how to act around them, gives an insight to their world and feelings.
    Perfect post, Bacon. And a salute to your mom and dad who are ordinary people, but special ones, too.

     
  17. The Canadian Cats

    01/01/2015 at 2:24 pm

    This is one post that nobody should miss. To actually walk in the handicapped person’s shoes is way different than observing him. I dislike the word handicapped because we are not handicapped….we have discovered new ways to accomplish what others take for granted. This takes thought, imagination and practice…. an understanding partner helps a great deal. As a person with epilepsy since I was 11, ignorance and folklore have been two foes I’ve had to battle continuously. The epilepsy was basically no great problem…it was the attitudes of people that were unaware of the reasons people get these disorders. In the past I have been treated as if I had a mental disability, shouted at, talked about…in front of me yet and dismissed as incompetent…before talking with me. I am well controlled now but as a young teenager I wasn’t and would have no warning before a grand mal seizure. After a seizure I have memory loss for a short time but hey, you try bouncing on your head and see if you don’t get a bit of memory loss!

    Anyway, I know where you’re coming from Bacon’s dad and I would be proud to walk alongside of such a good man. Hopefully I will….very soon.

    Jean

     
    • PigLove

      01/02/2015 at 9:42 am

      AWESOME REPLY my friend – BRAVO! Thank YOU so much for sharing your story. No one knows what one goes through in their life and what steps they walk just to survive every day. Thank you! XOXO – Bacon

       
  18. katsrus

    01/01/2015 at 4:15 pm

    That was beautifully written. I did not even know of your husband’s challenges. Bless you both in this new year.
    Sue B

     
    • PigLove

      01/02/2015 at 9:44 am

      aaww thanks my friend. It’s not something we dwell on here at the Hotel Thompson. We go with the flow 🙂 XOXO – Bacon

       
  19. Marty the Manx

    01/01/2015 at 10:52 pm

    Great article! Your Mom did a perfect job! Great way to help people be more aware. I knew when he was doing his super hero masks that he had some type of visual impairment but was not sure of the extent. Hope you all had a great New Year’s Eve and first of the New Year!!!
    Luvs
    Marty’s Mom

     
    • PigLove

      01/02/2015 at 9:46 am

      Thanks my friend. I really appreciate that. And dad – he doesn’t let anything slow him down. We are always out for a great time! XOXO – Bacon

       
  20. wallaceandsamuel

    01/02/2015 at 7:36 am

    Thank you for sharing such an important message and personal story with us. We had no idea that Uncle Jim was visually impaired based on the photos that Bacon posts on his blog. We hope your message gets heard far and wide!
    BIG licks,
    Wally & Sammy
    xxx

     
    • PigLove

      01/02/2015 at 9:50 am

      aaww – thanks my friends. Like mom said, you would never know just looking at him. He’s just like us and we all do love having our fun. XOXO – Bacon

       
  21. thiskidreviewsbooks

    01/02/2015 at 4:31 pm

    Wow. I didn’t know your Dad was (pretty much) blind. Your Mom wrote a wonderful article. 🙂

     
    • PigLove

      01/02/2015 at 4:52 pm

      aaww – thanks my friend. I really appreciate that. Dad and mom deal with the situation pretty good. We anipals also look after pops. XOXO – Bacon

       
  22. readingwithrhythm

    01/02/2015 at 11:06 pm

    Wow! What a story! Your Mom and Dad are real heros! I know all about folks who are visually impaired. My life has been all about that. Once upon a time I was destined to be a Guide Dog for the Blind. But fate intervened and led me down a different path. We’re still connected to the guide dog school though and raise pups for them. Maybe you should become a guide piggy! Thanks for sharing your story. This was a great post! 🙂

     
  23. fozziemum

    01/04/2015 at 6:27 am

    Here here my friend..an impairment does not always come with a cane or wheelchair..my eyes struggle too not to that extreme..low lights..lights too bright..teeny tiny print on machines that you need to use…people are not always obviously struggling and with my various issues I am sometimes in unbearable pain..but I try not to hit the meds…I look fit and healthy…means nothing.
    Classic example.the airport when we left for holidays..the queue was stopped because the baggage conveyor had broken…we were standing with bags for lordie knows how long…I had not had a chance to have some of my meds because I have to wait with one eat with another..so I was in pain..had been for ultrasounds the day before and was not a happy girl…when the line started the airport woman directed me to the baggage check in..a woman in a wheelchair rammed past me and yelled at me that she was to be there first….now I would not have cared and the airport staff apologised as she said she was not aware the other staff member had directed the woman to go first..which I would have been FINE with…see it was her attitude..she was so rude as if I had pushed in..she had no idea the pain I was in..because I look ok…no idea..and for me rude is rude..i take all people as I meet them colour ability race means nothing all can be nice or rude…so brilliant article sweets..i hope people realise not all impairments come with an advertisement..i do not want special treatment i want to experience life to the full as best i can..i know you guys are a great team and like many others you have your way of helping each other out with life..bravo on a great post! Loves Bev 🙂 xxxx < 3

     
  24. Misaki

    01/04/2015 at 1:44 pm

    Such an eye opening post xxx

     
    • PigLove

      01/05/2015 at 9:37 am

      Thanks my friend. I really appreciate that. XOXO – Bacon

       
  25. Genevieve

    01/07/2015 at 6:38 am

    Wonderful post with wonderful sentiments. Fitting in matters, so why not make every effort to do that? Sadly, it’s not always easy. Some people don’t know any better and aren’t sure what would be helpful and what would be overstepping. I taught a blind 8 year old in my sighted classroom, and wrote a children’s picture book about him. In Keep Your Ear on the Ball, Davey wants to be independent, but the kids want to help him A LOT. They all learn a valuable lesson about INTERdependence. In real, adult life it’s all about interdependence. Great post!

     
    • PigLove

      01/07/2015 at 9:32 am

      Thank you my friend. That means a lot to my mommy in what you said. Your book has a lot of value in itself. People want to be independent but they do need some help. It’s a fine line of mom wanting to help daddy but yet making him do things for himself to be independent of his own situation. XOXO – Bacon

       
  26. beebeesworld

    01/10/2015 at 7:23 pm

    Thanks for readig my blog. I will follow yours as well. beebeesworld

     
    • PigLove

      01/12/2015 at 5:46 am

      Aaww. Thanks my new friend. XOXO – Bacon

       
  27. Miss Harper Lee

    02/25/2015 at 9:06 pm

    Oh, Bacon, Mommy is just seeing this and she says that your mom is a very special lady and your daddy is a wonderful man. No wonder they ended up with a sweet little piggy like you!

     
    • PigLove

      02/26/2015 at 9:55 am

      aaaww – shucks. Thanks my friend. I really appreciate that! XOXO – Bacon

       
    • PigLove

      02/26/2015 at 11:53 am

      Aaww. Thanks my sweet friend. That is so darling of you to say that. I think we all fit right in here because of mom. We are totally blessed with her for sure! XOXO – Bacon

       

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