(mother of a 4-year-old blind girl)
Plenary session 4, Thursday 13 July 2000, 14.00 - 15.30
I am a mother of nice, beautiful girls. The youngest is only 4 and she can see only the light. She was born deeply premature and has spent a month and a half in the oxygen box. At four month she has received a diagnosis - retinopathia of prematurity. It was a shock for me.
It was a shock, but from the beginning I realized, that my child has to live in a "sighted" world. I began to open my world to her. I felt a potential to give this knowledge to the others. Allow me to show some examples of my experience , which I share with other parents.
"My Nastia was 3. We spent holidays at the seaside and swam, and bathed a lot. Than I transported her very far from the shore and put her into the water, with air wings on her arms. I stayed in the boat, and my girl slowly swung on the waves, - alone with the sea." Thus I explained her the volume, the space, the loneliness.
When she was 2, I showed her, how do the birds fly. " We stand on the steep lowering of the high road. She is in front of me, at the kid`s bicycle seat. I push ourselves and we fly down. We have already contracted, how she will move her hands apart. We cycle so fast, that tears appear on the eyes. She moves her hands apart and they are shaking by the wind."
Now I will try to share my impressions about the conference. If you do not mind, I will do it in associative form.
"I live at the huge, uninhabited island in the shoreless ocean. I grow flowers. I want them to be the most beautiful, strong, unusual. There are other islands with other gardeners not far from me, but they do not like to share knowledge. I do not know - why?
So my life passes. And immediately I realize, that the world does not end at the edge of my island. I need people, who love flowers as deep and strong, as me.
I write a letter about my flowers and about my feelings. I take a bottle, roll a letter, put it into the bottle and throw it into the ocean. I do not know, how much time has passed, but one day I felt, that my bottle has been found. One man noticed it and took it out of the water. His name is Herman Gresnigt
When I got up one early morning, I`ve seen a huge white cosmopolitan ship, standing on drift near my island. That was he, who sailed the ship to me.
I dashed to the boat to get the ship. There were no gangway, but I did not pay attention on it. My wish to get there was so strong, that I `ve climbed by the rope myself. When my feet touched the deck, I felt giddiness. There were so many flowers here, and all of them were so beautiful! The team of the ship guided me through the greenhouses. I`ve seen big lianas with unusual flowers and small gray plants, whose beauty I could not understand. I did not know the language, and it was not easy to communicate, but I tried to speak by me heart.
Time runs so fastů I hold the seeds, which were presented me at the ship, in my hand. I feel their warmth, returning to my island. I know exactly, it depends only on me, what kind of flowers will grow up from these seeds.
"Parents of the visually Impaired" Foundation
Souznyi Prospekt 24-4
Moscow 111396, Russia
Tel: +7 (0)95 301 24 07
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