A Vision Gained

by Sarah Saunders

My childhood: 
Anxious.  Worried that you couldn’t see your granddaughter.
You couldn’t see me listening to you;
The paintings I drew for you;
The cards I signed for you.

But today I understand.
Because you saw me in a way no other Nana could.
Your loss of sight was a gain for your senses.

I look like you Nan,
I know you realized that.
You used people’s words to create an image.
You used your hearing to cherish my laugh.
When I talked you didn’t just hear.
You listened.

I’m gifted.
Gifted to have a Nana that saw past my freckles,
Past every mole that marked my skin.
A Nana that cherished every cuddle.
A Nana that cherished every brush of my hair.

You loved me like no other Nana could.
Because you saw me like no other could.

I’m no longer sad that you didn’t see
My Golden hair,
My big front teeth
And my bitten down nails. You did see them. In your own unique way.

Thank you for being in my life.
Your being is gone
But your spirit lives on.
You’ve given me strength.
Thank you Nana.

I wrote this poem after a Creative Arts session as part of my SSC. I was given a quote to read about a man who had lost his sight and was talking about the sensory experience of holding his grandson.

My own Grandmother went blind when I was two years old and I had often thought about how much of my life she had missed out on. When I was growing up I would sit on her lap and she would comb my hair and I would never think she had done it right because she hadn’t been able to see it. Reading this quote made me reflect on how much of my life my nana did ‘see’ through her remaining senses. In a way it was like seeing the glass half-full and for the first time, honouring my nana’s abilities instead of focusing on her disability.

Sarah Saunders,
Creative Arts, Year Two, 2011


Patient Response to ‘A Vision Gained’

I have trouble talking to people and explaining how I feel. So, for me to go to a doctor and tell them what is wrong with me is hard, so if I walk in and I am not spoken to or I am made to feel uncomfortable I don't say everything I need to say and I walk out feeling terrible :( So, after listening to the poem 'A Vision Gained': I feel I would be happy to have the person who wrote it as my doctor, they seem caring and thoughtful and would take time to actually listen to me :)

Brooklea Creative Arts for Health