Now before I tell this do not start thinking this is an awful story that poor child because to me it is a wonderful memory and really shaped my independent life.
I was born and identical twin in the late 50's before preemie units came into being. I weighed a whopping 3.6 and went down to 2.11. All they could do back then was put you in an incubator and keep you warm. They also pumped you full of pure oxygen, which in turn ruined your developing eyes and blinded most of us. My older sister (by 7 minutes) was much bigger and stronger and she was in the hospital for 6 days, I was in for weeks. I was legally blind soon after birth. We were cute, smart children. We had two very bright parents and a Great grand father that lived with us. All three doted on us and it was obvious.
My sister was stronger and more outgoing. She was just dominant, I wanted what she wanted. I loved what she loved, I did what she did.
The first Christmas I really remember wanting something specific was in first grade and I am sure that this was spurred by the new black and white TV my dad had brought home. Both of us just had to have a "new baby brother" It was the first boy doll. Christmas came and Santa had left "baby brothers". Sister's was perfect, mine had the eyes poked out and a note saying that it had fallen from Santa's sleigh and he would fix it after the holiday's. Now I still carried around my blind baby and loved it to the horror of the relations, I was not upset and I do not remember if it was ever fixed. My parents had gone to the store too late (as usual) and could not find two so the manager had found the broken doll in the back. I had to have what my sister had at all cost.
My second grade year we wanted "baby first step" the first walking doll. Christmas morning you guessed it, sister's doll was perfect, mine would not walk, the note said it had fallen off Santa's sleigh. Again I do not remember being upset although I do remember the relatives laughing about Kim always have a Santa damaged gift, because they were laughing I thought I was special. I do not remember if this ever got fixed either. It was shortly after this Christmas that school teachers realized that I could not see. I was bright and memorized very quickly. I could see up close and I was able to fool everyone. Plus I had a twin at my side to help me. No one knew until they separated us in to different classes in 3rd grade. It had become very obvious that I was to dependent on my sister and she was too dominant. We were actually placed in different schools.
My third grade teacher loved me, she realized immediately that I needed glasses. I will never forget that first pair of glasses. The doctor had just given my mother the lecture about not making me wear them all the time. They were thick and heavy and I would probably protest, to just take things easy. But those glasses were my life. I put them on and on the way home I was exclaiming "Mom I can see trees on the mountains" "Mom I can see cars", I knew what a car was but before they were large dark whooshing objects. When we arrived home I ran around the house. Pictures had stuff in them. China plates had a design! My grandmother was an artist and so was my father, I had never, ever seen detail and I was thrilled. My mother was crying by the time I was done with my victory dance. In all the years I wore glasses, they were the first thing I put on in the morning. The last thing I took off at night. They were my freedom and I never broke a bow or lost them as a child. I became more independent.
Enter 3rd grade Christmas. I was in the drug store and saw a beautiful long haired red dog. He was large, bigger than me. (red is the favorite color of most partially blind people) Sister wanted the" Barbie folding fun house" (Later referred in family tales as the "Barbie F$%(&#$@, Fuc%$#%, fun house" as it took dad all night to put together) I was supposed to want the "Barbie folding swimming pool". But I wanted the dog. My mother did everything she could to talk me out of that dog. But I was adamant. My sister was down right angry, she used all of her persuasive powers to get me to change my mind. She used all of her persuasive power to get my mother to get me to change my mind, but I held firm. I knew in my heart I would never get the dog, I was resigned to get what sis wanted me to get, it would be okay, it always was.
. I played and brushed that dog until it had bald spots. But it was mine. I will never forget the Christmas, I danced with a red dog.
I am still running with scissors and the list seems to get longest at this point instead of shorter, but I will persevere.
Christmas fund up to $575.00, bedroom on the mend but too expensive.
Have a great and productive day!