Contributor Theresa Petrey – Two Different Worlds Part 2

As they say, “all good things must come to an end,” and as I graduated from high school, the world I had come to know for nine years, was now behind me. I attended a local college in Shepherdstown, West Virginia and commuted back and forth to class. Being able to make friends was rather difficult, because of a lack of transportation. I would eventually transfer to another college some 300 miles away, where I lived on campus and had to learn how to cope in the adult sighted world. Some of my books were recorded (this was the pre-digital age) but others were not. I had to incorporate readers to help me keep up with the reading and also to take tests.

In the early 1990’s, things in my life would change. I was by this time, married, but not quite yet with children. I didn’t have a job. I was definitely in the adult sighted world. I still relied on my books and the radio or television for my entertainment. Before I relocated, I was active in a local church and sang in the choir.

In September, 1990, I came to Arkansas to attend Lions World Services for the Blind. I did well in my training, which was in medical transcription. In 1992, I became gainfully employed at a local V.A. Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas. I have been working for 21 years.

While I am grateful for my job, I know that one day, this will end when I retire. I will be like many other blind persons. I won’t be unemployed but I will wake up with no big plans for the day. I anticipate the similarity of that world I remember of the holiday and summer vacations of my youth. I am already relying on the library to send me books to read and enjoy. I find great pleasure in this. I hope that before I retire, I will be able to afford the technology that is out there; as the way we read books now has greatly changed compared to the 1970s. My hope and prayer is that the technology that is already out there, will become more affordable for us.

One more thing that keeps me going and I hope will continue is my involvement with the ACB, both on the local and state level. I have also attended two national conventions, and felt as though I fit in; as though I had a purpose and that I was not only appreciated, but also needed, almost like being back in the world in the school for the blind, minus the homework and the stringent rules.

In writing this, I am not only sharing a little of myself, but I am also attempting to expand on writing, as I intend to find writing as an outlet to keep me going.

How many of you reading this, felt as though you were living in two different worlds, and maybe in some small way, still do?

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