A Blind Man Helped Me to See

Dailene Martin Bobbitt

A Blind Man Helped Me to See

 Dailene Martin Bobbitt


            After being legally blind for several years my father was hallucinating, seeing things and people that I could not see. I was now the blind one, and the experience taught me to view things in a different light. Watching him see, however, was very strange and unnerving; even if we knew it wasn’t real - or was it?

 My dad, Dale Martin, had both macular degeneration and glaucoma. He was completely blind in one eye and his sight was quickly fading in the other. If you reached for his hand he could not see that you were doing so, nor could he see the food on his plate, or anything straight ahead of him. There was no sight whatsoever in the center of his good eye. However he was able to see a little with his peripheral vision.     

            At ninety-nine Dad got by mostly by recognizing voices and from repetitive actions. He knew his way around the nursing home, was able to go to church on Sunday, (because a fellow churchgoer picked him up) and was able to go to McDonald’s every Tuesday morning, (because my cousin Gordon took him.) Yes, he was still able to leave his room by himself as well as leave the nursing home with help, because he did it repeatedly.  Dad did not wear sunglasses nor did he walk with a cane, because he already had to use a walker. Few people, other than his nurses and family, even knew that he was blind.

            The day I persuaded the nursing home that he was very ill and should be in the hospital, his nurse said that he was really confused. Amazingly his mind was usually quite sharp for his age. After being admitted to Baptist Floyd he began seeing things. I’ve heard of sighted individuals hallucinating, however, it was strange to watch a blind man see. We first noticed it when he began smiling and waving at little children. “You’re a cute little boy or you’re a cute little girl,” he would say. After discovering that he was indeed very ill, on his death bed in fact, we questioned if he was perhaps getting a glimpse into heaven.

            As he lay in his hospital bed, at times he was working on some short of construction project. He wanted my daughter and I to remove some boards from the foot of his bed. Of course we couldn’t, because they were not there. Dad was seeing them however and got very upset when we didn’t do as he asked. We tried to appease him, but were unable to. I even apologized saying, “Dad, I’m sorry. I can’t see the things you are seeing.” At one point he was so upset that he began praying, asking God to make us do what he asked. It was a very sincere prayer of faith, because he truly believed there were boards in his way.

            At other times he saw my mother and some of his brothers, who have all passed away. One of the brothers he saw, was the sibling he had been the closest to. I asked him then, “Where is Uncle Carl?” What I was referring to was where he was in the room.  His answer was, “He’s standing beside you and you’re wearing the same clothes.” I knew that seeing my uncle was part of his hallucinations, but was he really seeing me or was that also a trick of his mind?

            Later after his passing the experience taught me some wonderful lessons. At times we are all blind. We may not be able to see or understand what another person is seeing or we might just see only what we want to see. I realized that we should never judge another individual unless we can see through their eyes. According to how they were raised, or the light that God has given them, they may see something totally different from us.

            Of course we have to keep our eyes straight ahead, at all times, while driving. Just think though, good or bad, what we might not be seeing on either side of the road. If we could look through our peripheral vision we would be able to see the deer in the woods that is going to run out in front of our car and the train nearing the crossing

            We also can only see the outside of a building, not what’s on the inside. I was greatly surprised once, when I entered an old home, that on the outside was worn and most definitely showing its age. Inside, however, it was beautiful. The women had redecorated it as well as any interior decorator could have. On the other hand, there are beautiful buildings on the outside that are full of corruption. In comparison we can only see the outside of a person. The individual may be poorly dressed, be unattractive, have a different color of skin, be elderly, etc… and we judge them because of the way they look, however we cannot see their heart. From the opposite spectrum, on the outside an individual may look beautiful, be well dressed, have the same skin color as we do, be young, etc… but have an evil heart.

            I’m sure there are also many times we really didn’t see what we thought we saw. Something or someone was partially blocking our view or maybe we were totally blindsided. Then there are those living in their ivory towers, who look down on others and those who are blinded by love.

            Then I think of seeing through a child’s eyes. My grandson Cooper at four went to an exhibit of life size, moving dinosaurs in Louisville. Some of his young cousins were also there. The parents told the children to hold hands and to stay together. Cooper went to the youngest cousin, who is two, and took her hand. Even though she was not particularly afraid, he said something like, “It’s alright. I’m like an adult.” She was half his age, and in his eyes he was much older. On the other hand, now that I’m sixty-five, I feel as if younger people think of me as old. I know I did my parents when they were my age. I can see now how wrong I was. I in fact still feel much younger. It all comes down to perspective and if your body cooperates.

The next time you don’t see eye to eye with someone, try looking at the situation through their eyes, from their view. Maybe we should even use our peripheral vision at times or try seeing through a child’s innocent eyes. What you think you see or what seems obvious to you; try looking at from another angle or perspective. You may then be able to see more clearly what the other person is seeing. For example in my past, what my parents or those in authority did may have been done for my good or for the good of other, whereas I viewed their intentions as being mean or selfish.

            What you may consider as wrong, another individual may have been taught was right or they may not have had any guidance whatsoever on the matter. Even biblical teachings are sometimes interpreted differently by Bible scholars. Of course, do what your heart compels you to do, but don’t judge others who see in a different light. As the scripture says, Judge not lest ye be judged. You alone are accountable for your life and God is the only true judge.            

When my father asked us to remove the boards from his bed, my daughter and I were the ones who were blind. Like I told Dad, “I’m sorry. I can’t see the things you are seeing.” We need to all take our blinders off and ask ourselves, “Are we the ones that are blind or are we the ones with sight?”

 I once found an old saying that is quite an eye opener. “There are none so blind as those who think they see it all.”





Dailene Martin Bobbitt is the newest member of Writers Bloc, and she enjoys writing poetry gospel songs, children’s books, memoirs, history and fiction.  Her work has appeared in Good Old Days magazine and County Discoveries. She has self-published five local history books: Bicentennial Scrapbook of New Albany;, Indiana, Scrapbook of Palmyra, Indiana Area 1900-1950, Doctoring and Old Home Remedies, Scrapbook of Beck’s Mill and Scrapbook of Palmyra Vol. 2.




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