I have always been proud of the fact that, though legally blind, I can find missing items better than fully sighted people.  My husband will literally spend an hour looking for his keys, and after 5 minutes of asking me,  I have them in my hands.  A friend once lost her wallet within her large purse and spent 45 minutes looking for it.  On a whim, I asked if I could try searching through her purse for the wallet.  Within 30 seconds of me feeling around, I found her wallet.  These aren’t lone incidents either. When my kids can’t find something, I’m the one they come to for help.

Along with finding lost items, I also pride myself on the fact that not much gets past me.  I can be downstairs cleaning the floor yet I know exactly what my girls are doing upstairs.  I run an after-school program out of my house, and the other day I told one of the kids to stop waving something in another child’s face even though he was out of my line of vision.  They joke that I have secret eyes all over.
So it was quite surprising to me, at a recent family dinner, when I realized I was unaware of something that was quite obvious to everyone else.

My husband and his brother were talking about a trend that young hipster-types are doing, in which they stretch their earlobe holes out to hold extra large earrings, or more accurately, objects.
“I think it’s called ear gauging,” my husband said. “Huh?”
“You know, like your cousin Tristin has,” my husband pointed out.
“Huh?”
“You’ve never noticed the giant hole in his ear with the earring?”
“Huh?”
“Joy, you seriously don’t know what I’m talking about?” Ben was almost incredulous.
“I seriously have no idea what you’re talking about, babe.  Remember, I can’t really see.  How would I have noticed something like that?”

Honestly, if my husband were a mean-spirited guy, he could play so many crazy tricks on me.  He could tell me just about anything and I’d believe him.  He could make up some new trend that doesn’t exist, and I’d probably just nod my head.  Fortunately, he is a very kind man, and he was not joking about the ear gauging.

Yes, last summer when he visited, I definitely missed the fact that my cousin had a giant hole in his ear, and this honestly kind of bothered me at first.  Not the ear stretching, of course, but the idea that maybe I miss a lot more than I think I do.
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I didn’t miss the important facts about my cousin when I saw him last summer. I didn’t miss his sense of humor, the way he engages people in conversation, and the genuine kindness with which I saw him treat people.  And those are the things I want to recognize in a person anyhow.

There are some who may judge people based on their looks or what they choose to wear, but I have the fortunate ability to look past those things because I often don’t notice them.

Blind and visually impaired people may miss some of the details, but we don’t miss the important things.  In my humble opinion, we miss some of the least important things and pay attention to the things that really matter.

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photo description: Earlobe with gauge in it. (license)

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14 thoughts on “The Things Blind People Miss

  1. I think of it as seeing with the heart. It’s a great way to see. When my friend told me my godchild needed braces, I said, “No! Her teeth are PERFECT!” Well, they weren’t – far from it. I never saw the imperfections. I only see her with my heart….

  2. I am the one that can find lost small items too. I thought perhaps because my tunnel vision allowed me to block out the side show and drill down on the immediate surroundings like a periscope. I also say a prayer so God guides me!

    • Yes, I think there’s definitely something to the blocking out of the side clutter! And definitely to the prayers! 🙂

  3. I could have written this article myself…I, too, am a finder of lost things, including at the supermarket. It has also been quite a surprise to me when people tell me something they don’t like about themselves, the gray hair, the disfigured hand…I have no way of knowing. But I know the person. I know what’s in the voice, in the mind, in the heart.

    • Yes, Ruthie, we see with more than our eyes. I have even had people comment on their weight and I hadn’t even noticed they were overweight (which is funny since you’d think I’d pick up on that via hugs!)

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