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 what’s remaining on his list of things he hopes to see and experience while he still has as much eyesight as possible. (You can read about the wishes that have come true here and they have been extraordinary beyond our wildest dreams, thanks to the stunning generosity of people near and far. (Thank you. Truly – it’s so inadequate a description of our feelings, but thank you.)
Update Summer 2018:
So, after much pondering and discussion and so much generosity and wonder… Ben says he thinks we did it. He got them all (within reason, see the unlikely ones below!) 😉 He got them all, he has experienced the extraordinary and miraculous and I tear up every single time I think about it, and think about the incredible people that made it happen. Ben talks about his memories from these wish trips every single day, and I think he will for the rest of his life.
He’s still making new visual memories, of course… but thanks to strangers and friends near and far, he’s lived a visual lifetime in just a few short years. Now he’s on to other adventures, big and small
Previous wishes Mom said aren’t so likely, but I still wrote them down to make him feel better:
– The Great Wall of China
– Death Valley (too hot!)
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.) 🙂