My blind acquaintance lost their sight at the age of 14 due to a genetic disorder. Prior to this age, they had 20/20 vision. I remember feeling so horrible to hear their story of being able to see the world once, then having it removed from their vision forever and I commented on how absolutely devastating that must have been for them...after all, wouldn't it have been better to have never had sight at all than to LOSE something so precious and KNOW it was gone?
My acquaintance (who at the time of the conversation, had been sightless for over 20 years) said this to me: "Had I never had sight as a child, I would have never truly seen beauty...I would have never been able to appreciate the colors and the movements people can describe to me now in my world. And I certainly would have never come to appreciate the senses I rely upon and have had to learn to use in different ways to "see" the world as you do through eyes. I am so lucky to have seen the beauty around me, if only for a short time."
I would post my comment here but I forget to copy it before hitting Publish and it is not yet approved for publication. I will keep checking and add it here if/when it is. It was something along the lines that I really needed to read that because I have been stuck mourning my losses and instead I could have been celebrating my accomplishments and remembering what they were like.
ETA: My comment was:
Thank you so much for writing this. I needed to read it.
I have always been absorbed by regrets and losses (abilities and people). I need to learn to think this way. That I have not lost the ability to do X or Y, rather that I once had the luck/fortune to be able to do it - that I have experienced it and/or been good at it.