Want to read about the wishes that have come true? See that list here!
When we received the news that his eyesight had changed so dramatically we immediately began Ben’s wish list. What did he want to see, where did he want to go, what could we help him experience visually before he lost more sight… One of his therapists explained that as he gets older it will be easier for him to describe things and interact with the sighted world if he has memories of things – like snow, she said, or the ocean or a mountain. And of course beyond the practical logistics of it, we wanted to help Ben have the emotional experience of witnessing this wild and wonderful world!
Some of what Ben wants to see isn’t realistic, either because of practicality or finances. But we still want him to share all his dreams – if it’s something we can’t see in person we’re looking up places online to see videos or photos. Almost every day he pops into our room after bedtime and says, “May I see a photo of a glacier?” or “Can you show me Mount Rushmore?” or “I want to see the Sistine Chapel.”
It takes all my self control to not cry every time he asks me to show him these things.
Anyway, some of Ben’s list makes me laugh – like the Apple store. Others have me curious (a bike store, or chalk under a microscope??) While we can’t make it all happen, here’s his list of things he hopes to see and experience while he still has as much eyesight as possible.
Ben’s Vision Wish List:
– Northern California: the Golden Gate Bridge & the Redwood Forest (hoping for summer 2015)
– Las Vegas
– Germany where his mom was born (and I said someday we’ll make this happen, just not soon.)
– Parthenon in Greece (There is one in Tennessee! And it’s WAY closer than Greece! I know it’s not the same, but we’re working on a budget. )
– a Weird Al concert which WILL happen as soon as I do research and find a show relatively close.
– a toy factory (He says he likes seeing things made.)
– Great Wolf Lodge waterpark in Grapevine, after hearing about some friends staying there. I let him watch the videos of riding inside the watersides and he thought that looked so cool!
– ice skating (We skated in Albuquerque and he fell in LOVE, we’re now looking for local options.)
– skiing (I’m nervous about this one but we’ll try to make it happen with a helmet. And bubble wrap.)
– Antarctica, which is not happening but someone said the ICE! exhibit at Gaylord may be a close second? They said it’s incredible and he may get an Antarctic feel, so we’ll check on tickets in December.
The ones Mom vetoed due to practicality/finances BUT has been told she must reconsider because apparently Ben’s dreams have a way of moving heaven and earth to happen.
– The Great Wall of China
– Mount Rushmore (too long a drive, but someday?)
– the Sistine Chapel (Maybe we’ll get to Italy!)
– Death Valley (too hot!)
– Leaning Tower of Pisa (See Italy above.)
– Food Network Kitchens
– Roman Colosseum (Ditto – clearly we need an Italy trip.)
Update: I feel bad, because I vetoed some of Ben’s wishes and he then thought some others weren’t realistic and didn’t share them with us (like Germany and snorkeling.) So I told him DREAM BIG and tell us anything and everything! Okay, but I’m still not willing to do Antarctica.
So if you were losing your eyesight what would YOU want to see? We love suggestions! Truly, please share your ideas – even if we can’t make the trip, we can show him online the places you think are best. Leave a comment and tell us what Ben should see!
Ben’s Wish List
PO Box 2107
Lake Dallas, TX 75065-2107
Ben and all the kids LOVE postcards so if you want to send one from your hometown or your vacation spot then they would be thrilled. It’s the next best thing to him getting to see those places in person.
Also, go give us ideas here for the NON-vision bucket list: what should Ben try later on that helps him focus on his other senses? We’re loving the fun ideas – it helps Ben get excited about all of the adventures to come when he’s no longer light dependent. (I love that phrase from Thunder Dog! Talk about giving a new perspective on life without sight.)