The Blind Bus Rider
The passengers on the bus watched sympathetically as the attractive young woman with
the white cane made her way carefully up the steps. She paid the driver and, using her
hands to feel the location of the seats, walked down the aisle and found the seat he'd
told her was empty. Then she settled in, placed her briefcase on her lap and rested her
cane against her leg. "Friday at last", she thought.
It had been a year since Susan, thirty-four, became blind. Due to a medical
misdiagnosis she had been rendered sightless, and she was suddenly thrown into a world of
darkness, anger, frustration and self-pity. Once a fiercely independent woman, Susan now
felt condemned by this terrible twist of fate to become a powerless, helpless burden on
everyone around her. "How could this have happened to me?" she would plead,
Susan's her heart knotted with anger. But no matter how much she cried or ranted or
prayed, she knew the painful truth her sight was never going to return.
A cloud of depression hung over Susan's once optimistic spirit. Just getting through
each day was an exercise in frustration and exhaustion. And all she had to cling to was
her husband Mark. Mark was an Air Force officer and he loved Susan with all of his heart.
When she first lost her sight, he watched her sink into despair and was determined to help
his wife gain the strength and confidence she needed to become independent again. Mark's
military background had trained him well to deal with sensitive situations, and yet he
know this was the most difficult battle he would ever face.
Finally, Susan felt ready to return to her job, but how would she get there? She used
to take the bus, but was now too frightened to get around the city by herself. Mark
volunteered to drive her to work each day, even though they worked at opposite ends of the
city. At first, this comforted Susan and fulfilled Mark's need to protect his sightless
wife who was so insecure about performing the slightest task. Soon, however, Mark realized
that this arrangement wasn't working - it was hectic, and costly. Susan is going to have
to start taking the bus again, he admitted to himself. But just the thought of mentioning
it to her made him cringe.
She was still so fragile, so angry. How would she react? Just as Mark predicted, Susan
was horrified at the idea of taking the bus again. "I'm blind!" she responded
bitterly. "How am I supposed to know where I'm going? I feel like you're abandoning
me." Mark's heart broke to hear these words, but he knew what had to be done. He
promised Susan that each morning and evening he would ride the bus with her, for as long
as it took, until she got the hang of it. And that is exactly what happened. For two solid
weeks, Mark, military uniform and all, accompanied Susan to and from work each day. He
taught her how to rely on her other senses, specifically her hearing, to determine where
she was and how to adapt to her new environment. He helped her befriend the bus drivers
who could watch out for her, and save her a seat. He made her laugh, even on those
not-so-good days when she would trip exiting the bus, or drop her briefcase. Each morning
they made the journey together, and Mark would take a cab back to his office.
Although this routine was even more costly and exhausting than the previous one, Mark
knew it was only a matter of time before Susan would be able to ride the bus on her own.
He believed in her, in the Susan he used to know before she'd lost her sight, who wasn't
afraid of any challenge and who would never, ever quit. Finally, Susan decided that she
was ready to try the trip on her own. Monday morning arrived, and before she left, she
threw her arms around Mark, her temporary bus riding companion, her husband, and her best
friend. Her eyes filled with tears of gratitude for his loyalty, his patience, his love.
She said good-bye, and for the first time, they went their separate ways.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday... Each day on her own went perfectly, and Susan
had never felt better. She was doing it! She was going to work all by herself! On Friday
morning, Susan took the bus to work as usual. As she was paying for her fare to exit the
bus, the driver said, "Boy, I sure envy you." Susan wasn't sure if the driver
was speaking to her or not. After all, who on earth would ever envy a blind woman who had
struggled just to find the courage to live for the past year?
Curious, she asked the driver, "Why do you say that you envy me?" The driver
responded, "It must feel so good to be taken care of and protected like you
are." Susan had no idea what the driver was talking about, and asked again,
"What do you mean?" The driver answered, "You know, every morning for the
past week, a fine looking gentleman in a military uniform has been standing across the
corner watching you when you get off the bus. He makes sure you cross the street safely
and he watches you until you enter your office building. Then he blows you a kiss, gives
you a little salute and walks away. You are one lucky lady."
Tears of happiness poured down Susan's cheeks. For although she couldn't physically see
him, she had always felt Mark's presence. She was lucky, so lucky, for he had given her a
gift more powerful than sight, a gift she didn't need to see to believe - the gift of love
that can bring light where there had been darkness.
God watches over us in just the same way. We may not know He is present. We may not be
able to see His face, but He is there nonetheless! Be blessed in this thought:
"God Loves You - even when you are not looking."
How to Be a Good
How to Be a Good
||Dr. Steve Frisch,
Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in
Chicago, Illinois and Northfield, Illinois.
You can contact Dr. Frisch, Psy.D. at
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