[Nfb-seniors] A Late Valentine - in other words, Valentines and Blindness

Robert Leslie Newman newmanrl at cox.net
Sat Feb 24 21:22:11 UTC 2018

Hi You All

RE: A late Valentine - read on 


I am in the process of getting my THOUGHT PROVOKER (TP) website back up;
long story. http://www.thoughtprovoker.info Pardon if you the reader had not
heard of THOUGHT PROVOKERS; they are short-short stories, about blindness
and life. They are great for topics for a group discussion; educational to
read; and more. I have 40 TPs back up; finished total will be 154.
Yesterday I came across one of my THOUGHT PROVOKERS that has a valentine
theme. And because I did not get the opportunity to share this on
Valentine's Day, please do consider this post as a late Valentine! 


>From my home page, Here is how the menu item reads for this TP.

130. TO BRAILLE WITH LOVE- Parents of a blind child face the decision as
parents, if they should learn Braille in order to support its importance in
their child's life.


**Here is - THOUGHT PROVOKER 130


To Braille With Love


     "Happy Valentine's Day!" chorused Sherry and Tom Hardy to the smiling
couple who were inviting them into their home. The Hardys and Pam and Rich,
the Andersons, were members of a support group for parents of blind
children; the Anderson's were longtime members and the Hardy's were new.


     "Hey, how was the lunch on this snowy Saturday?" Rich asked. He and Pam
had picked up Tom and Sherry's daughter Kathy and their own daughter Cheryl
to take both eight-year-old girls to a Valentine party, giving the Hardy's a
chance to go out for a romantic lunch and movie. And now the Hardy's were
over for a short visit to the Anderson's, then it would be Hardy's turn to
pick up the girls, take them to their home, giving Pam and Rich their
opportunity to go out for a special dinner and dancing.


     "Wonderful." answered Sherry. "We took our time. It's great that
Valentine's Day fell on a Saturday."


     "You bet ya!" said Pam. "Come on in. I have a fresh pot of coffee on
and a plate of Valentine cookies Cheryl made special for us."


     Seated in the kitchen around the family table, the two couples dug into
their coffee break. "These are fantastic cookies. Your Cheryl is a great
little cook," commented Sherry, raising a cookie for another bite.


     "Knew I was smart to pass up the restaurant's dessert--love the pink
frosting." added Tom.


     "Oh, let me show you her card." Pam said, getting up and detaching a
card from a clip on the refrigerator door.


     "Whoo!" cooed Sherry, looking at and running her finger over the front
surface of the card, opening it to see inside.


     "Huh?" exclaimed Tom. "Braille . picture and all?"


     "Yeah, she made it herself." said Rich, obviously proud of his
daughter's handiwork.


     "She used her Braille writer." said Pam, pointing. "The border has full
cells down the sides, then dots 1-2-4-5's across the top, and 2-3-5-6's
across the bottom, making an even two-dot border all the way around. And you
can see the heart consists of full cells and parts of cells to get the right


     "And she colored the heart, too. So creative!" continued Sherry. "And
this down here?" Tracing with a finger, "Words, I take it?"


     Retrieving the card, closing her eyes, Pam began reading with her right
index finger. "I Love You Mom, Be My Valentine."


     "Whoo, I'm impressed! With your finger no less." Sherry said, her face
showing a self-conscious mix of surprise and maybe guilt.


     "Oh, Sherry . guess we've talked about this . parents learning
Braille?" Pam gave her friend a concerned look.


     "Well yeah, Tom and me, our life's are just so...busy. And, you know,
with this electronic age, we have a computer in just about every room and
there's voice mail."


     Tom added, "my God, Kathy is a wiz on the computer, you should hear how
fast she has that voice cranked! These kids today they've grown up with all
these electronics."


     "Rich." Sherry looked at Pam' s husband, her face showing that
something was still eating at her. "Do you read Braille too?"


     "Yeah, but I haven't gone so far to develop the tactual sense for
reading it. I cheat, I read it with my eyes." Looking to his wife for any
sign of guidance, or a warning perhaps. "With Cheryl's blindness, we feel
supporting and encouraging her lifelong literacy is ." Beginning to think he
was going too far with his pointed remarks. "Ah, anyway, it's fun!"


     "Tom spoke up, obviously not offended. "Hey, so the card was for the
Mom. How about the Dad?"


     "Oh!" both Pam and Rich chorused with big grins on their faces.


     "Grab your coats, ladies and gentlemen!" said Rich rising. "We need to
step out into the back yard."


     Outside. "Whoo, Whoo, Whoo!" hooted Sherry.


     "How in the .?" Said Tom. "Did you guys get a picture of this?"


     Before them the white-blanketed yard spread to the fence and at its
very center lay a one-foot tall, six-foot across, very pink heart , with
white geometrical rows of dots on its top surface. Walking up close, it was
evident that the heart was constructed of compacted snow and the white dots
were hand-formed snowballs arranged to create Braille letters.


     "How did she get that snow painted pink?" Tom nearly stuttered.


     Pam answered. "A spray bottle and one gallon of red Kool-Aid."


     Standing near the broad part of the heart, Rich pointed. "This single
dot is a capital sign, followed by the letters in the word. That makes her
words here, cap L o v e, cap Y o u, cap D a d. Second line, cap I ' m, cap Y
o u r, cap V a l e n t I n e."


Respectfully yours,

Robert Leslie Newman

NFBN Senior Division, President

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