Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Remembering by Touch

by Donna J. Jodhan
Written at Easter 2009

Now that my vision has been reduced to almost nothing, I often use the touch technique to help me remember certain cherished images. Easter Saturday was a perfect example. When the doorbell rang and I asked who it was, the voice at the other end told me that it was a delivery man with some flowers for me. At first I was at a loss to think who would be so nice to be sending me flowers for Easter but I soon found out.

When I opened the door I asked the delivery man to read me the card on the delivery and it was from my dear mom. He quickly noticed that I was blind and asked if I needed him to put it on my table. When I told him no, he then proceeded to describe the flowers to me and a few minutes later as I quietly closed my door the tears came rolling down my cheeks. My dear mom had sent me an Easter arrangement. It was in a darling little basket, and that I could feel but I could not see the flowers themselves. So, after pulling myself together I proceeded to use my sense of touch to help me remember.

I gently felt each and every flower. Then I examined each leaf with my fingertips. I then bent and smelled the flowers and they had a fresh fragrant spring smell to them. I stood there for a few minutes with my fingers in the basket refusing to let go. I allowed my memory to take over and as I stood there, the colors came flooding back into my mind. I imagined yellow as vibrant as the sun. Purple as gentle as a dawning sky and white as pure as the Milky Way. I pictured the leaves as green as the grass grows and when I had them all pictured in my mind, I wept for joy! My mom had done me well! She knew how much I loved my flowers and she had taken the time to ensure that her basket to me was just right.

It reminded me of a few years ago after I had lost my vision; it was my birthday and I had received another delivery of flowers then. This time the delivery consisted of a huge vase of flowers and when I asked the delivery man to read me the card, he told me that it was from my brother Robert and my sister-in-law Charmaine. Like mom they had taken the time to send me flowers that they knew I so loved and when the delivery man described them to me, I again wept for joy and used my touch technique to help me remember. Later on a friend told me that my brother had specifically asked for flowers that bore fragrant smells so that I could appreciate them even more.

This is one thing that no one can ever take away from me. The ability to remember through touch. I can use the sense of touch to conjure up the most vivid of memories, the most cherished of thoughts, and the most imaginative of creative thinking and it is one of the things that keeps me going every day. I often tell people that it does not matter if I am unable to see something, I can use my sense of touch to help me enjoy it.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a terrific day and encouraging you to go out there and tell the world that yes indeed! Blind persons can certainly enjoy things by using their sense of touch. If you'd like to learn more about me, then you can visit some of my blog spots at:
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all:
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility:
blogs on various issues and answers to consumers concerns:

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