Good morning campbellsworld visitors.
This morning in our Authors They’re Only Human column I have a treat for you that is certain to make you think.
Jo E. Pinto, Author of The Bright Side of Darkness has captured both the trials and triumphs of being a blind parent.
As I read her submissions each week I am reminded of both the good and bad times that my own daughter and I had during her growing up years.
I’ve often wondered if any of what we went through has come back to her as she’s raising her own family.
I hope, that some of what we experienced in our lives together was good for her.
I have to tell you honestly folks, reading these awesome offerings from Jo has brought back a flood of memories, and while we did struggle quite a bit due to my being both a blind and single mother, not everything we went through was bad, and I am hopeful that my daughter remembers some of the good things from her childhood as well as that which was hard.
I know that all we did has shaped her today, and she is a young mother her children should be very proud of.
I also would like to add that I hope, Jo’s daughter will someday read these writings and know just how much her mother loved her, and how much she wanted her life to be the best it could be.
It is my hope that someday Jo will put all these posts together and write a book.
For now, here’s today’s column.
Make sure to read onward after this beautiful story to find out how you can buy Jo’s awesome book.
Thanks for stopping by campbellsworld today. Campbell and I hope you come back again real soon.
If you enjoy this, please let Jo know.
Please, if you would share this with all your friends.
***Warning! Tissue alert! ***
“Mommy, what’s a street walker?”
The question took me by surprise. I paused at the corner a block away from the school, ready to cross the street, with my guide dog’s harness in one hand and my second grader holding tightly to the other. The wind sent the dry autumn leaves scuttling around our feet.
“Well …” I thought fast. “A street walker is someone who …. Someone who goes around looking for trouble. Where did you hear that word? Anlyn, forward.”
My daughter Sarah trotted to keep up as we crossed the busy street. “A mean boy in my class called me a street walker because I have to walk places with you and Anlyn all the time instead of riding in a car. Everybody laughed at me. I wish you could drive like other moms.”
I bit back a chuckle, but the guilt was right on its heels, followed closely by doubts and misgivings. How would having a blind mom affect a child socially? All blind parents worry about it. All blind parents dread the day their child comes home with it for the first time—the teasing, the discomfort. But street walker? Seriously? Still, at least neither kid had known what the word meant. I mentally pushed my worries aside and dragged myself back to the moment at hand.
“Hmmm.” I said aloud as we turned left toward home. “If I drove like other moms, what would we miss?”
Sarah wasn’t sure at first, but before we made it to our house, we stopped to blow the seeds off some big white dandelions for good luck. We paused to sniff some pretty pink flowers growing by the sidewalk. Sarah picked up three white rocks, a handful of acorns, and a perfectly round pine cone for me to tuck into my jacket pocket.
“We’d miss our nature adventures,” she decided.
“Exactly,” I agreed. “Besides, you know your way around this half of the city better than any of your friends. They get in their parents’ cars and don’t pay attention to where they go. You’re my little navigator, aren’t you? Now, I’m going to call your teacher.”
“Mom, don’t! I’m not a tattletale!”
“Don’t worry. I was a kid once, too—a long time ago. I won’t ruin your reputation.”
Two mornings later, I went with my daughter to school. While the kids sat on the sharing rug, my guide dog lay sedately on the floor in front of them. For fifteen minutes or so, I told the class about service dogs and how they work for blind people—helping them navigate traffic, guiding them in and out of stores and restaurants, etc, and how they’re allowed to go anywhere the public can go.
“Wow, Sarah’s lucky!” one classmate breathed as the kids took turns petting Anlyn’s soft tan coat. “Her mom gets to take her dog everywhere!”
“So, Sarah?” the teacher asked, in a question I had rehearsed a bit with her, “What’s it like to have a blind mom?”
“Well,” my little girl said, in an unrehearsed answer, “it’s like a regular mom, except Daddy won’t let her drive his car.”
This piece first appeared on Holly Bonner’s Blind-Motherhood blog:
MORE ON JO, AND THE BRIGHT SIDE OF DARKNESS…
“The Bright Side of Darkness” Is an award-winning novel, Available in Kindle, audio, and paperback formats.
About the author…
J. E. Pinto is a magnet for underdogs! Early in her married life, her home became a hangout for troubled neighborhood kids. This experience lit the flame for her first novel, The Bright Side of Darkness.
Pinto’s Spanish-American roots grow deep in the Rocky Mountains, dating back six generations. J. E. Pinto lives with her family in Colorado where she works as a writer and also proofreads textbooks and audio books. One of her favorite pastimes is taking a nature walk with her service dog.
The Bright Side of Darkness won a first place Indie Book Award for “First Novel over Eighty Thousand Words,” as well as First Place for “Inspirational Fiction.” The novel also won several awards from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association: First Place for “Inspirational Fiction,” Second Place for “Audio Book,” and First Place for “Literary and Contemporary Fiction.
Rick Myers, an orphan without much faith in the future, and Daisy Bettencourt, a blind girl who is running from an alcoholic father and a set of overprotective foster parents, cross paths at a high school baseball game and make their way together. Daisy becomes the bright spot in Rick’s universe as he and his four lifelong friends–Tim, Mark, and the twins–battle the forces of poverty and hopelessness. Mark’s grandma dies of heart failure, and Tim’s stepdad is arrested on felony child abuse charges, leaving them, like Rick and Daisy, with no authority figures in their lives.
Rick and Daisy are trailed by a fat man in a battered green jeep who makes Rick more and more uneasy as the weeks pass. Then, just when Rick discovers an interest in the culinary field and decides to complete his education, the bottom drops out of his world.
There’s nothing a damn bit bright about sunshine when you’re seventeen and you see it from the wrong side of a jail cell window.
It isn’t that I’m moping for my lost freedom or anything. I wouldn’t give a half a crap for my life anymore now that the crew is scattered to the four winds, and all I have left of Daisy is her parting note in the waistband of my jeans and a wilted dandelion dangling between my fingers. But it seems to me that the Man Upstairs could have marked my downfall with a terrific thunderstorm or at least a few nasty black clouds out of the west.
When there’s a war or a funeral or some other sad thing going on in the movies, the sky usually turns dark and ugly, and the rain pours down in buckets. The longer I stare at the square of sunlight streaming through the tiny window of my cell and stealing across the floor, the lonelier I feel. August 27, 1986, is slipping by the same as every other hot, heavy day, and I’m the only one in the world who knows that nothing will ever be all right again.
It hasn’t always been this way. I ought to have known better than to believe I could reach out and snag a piece of paradise, but for a little while I had it on my fingertips. Breaks are hard to come by for kids from the projects, though, and sure enough, all I ended up with at the last second was empty hands.
I’m doing my level best to hold off a flood of memories, but my mind keeps drifting back to the sweltering summer evening when the chain of events began that shattered my world into a zillion pieces. First thing tomorrow morning, some juvenile court judge will decide if my life is worth rebuilding. Maybe he’ll have better luck with my future than I did with my past.
If you would like to contact Author Jo E Pinto please feel free to e-mail: at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see her guest blog posts, please check out: https://blindmotherhood.com/.
Please see her on her Facebook page:
Until next time this is Patty who is crying, and King Campbell who will lick her tears away saying…
May harmony find you blessid be.