S1: Episode 4 - Christina and Weston Wright

Portrait of Christina and Weston

Episode Information

[Intro Music]

Narrator:          Welcome to My Heart is Not Blind. Narrative histories about blindness and perception. A traveling exhibition and book published by Trinity University Press, supported by Gronkowski Charitable Foundation, edited and hosted by Michael Nye. Every person. Every place is a map to somewhere else. Episode four Christina & Weston Wright.

Christina:          I grew up in the panhandle of Florida, right in between Pensacola and Tallahassee. I think growing up on a farm helped me learn the simplicity in life. In the way you become happy with what you have, you don’t yearn for more. My pregnancy with Weston was my second pregnancy. It was an exciting time of our life. And when my delivery began, I remember having my makeup perfect cause I wanted him to feel that I was beautiful. And I remember asking the nurses, Why isn’t he crying? And she said, Just keep rubbing his back. And when they brought him to us, I remember looking at how perfect he was. He had big, beautiful blue eyes. My husband has light blue-green eyes for the next two months. I would sit in front of him in the swing and I’d swing him and talk to him and, and he would react to my voice, but would never focus on my face with his eyes. I remember going back to the pediatrician’s office and asking them, and they sent us for additional testing. We were called the next day to go to the ophthalmologist office. When the doctor came in, the first thing he said to me was, Blind people can still lead normal lives. He began telling me all of the things that he probably wouldn’t do or couldn’t do.

The car ride home felt like the longest drive I remember just sobbing in the back seat. And when I sat up to take a grasp of air, I looked over and Weston was smiling at me. It was a comforting smile. And at that moment when I looked at that innocent child, I instantly knew I had to do something for him. I had to help him succeed. I feel like I know Weston from the inside out. He’s what completes our family. And I can always tell without him telling me if something’s bothering him. And Weston amazes me with his sense of compassion, his sense of sensitivity in the world when a car goes by, what is that noise, Why did that car sound different than ours? If someone mentions there’s a rainbow in the sky, what’s a rainbow? What does it look like? He has a very light touch with just the bottom part of his fingertips, just lightly touching things.

He can sense when I’m standing near, even when I’ve don’t think I’ve made a sound, he will know that I’m there. And he always has, even as a baby. In our household, blindness is not a disability. It’s an inability in that we can overcome. And I wanna raise him with that thought. And some people say I’m silly for that because one of his biggest desires is to drive. And I don’t tell Weston that he can’t drive. He owns a dirt bike now. It’s a real dirt bike, 50cc kickstart crank. But we will put a walkie talkie on his helmet and will tell him from our walkie talkie, which way to turn, and he drives the dirt bike. I get very angry with ignorance when we are out in crowds and people stop what they’re doing to stop and stare almost in a gawking motion as we would do if we’re at the zoo looking an animal because he’s blind, because he uses a cane.

Last Sunday, Weston and I were laying in the bed and I noticed his eyes were open really big. And I asked him, Are you seeing something? And he says, I see you. So I asked him, What do I look like? And he says, Well, you have makeup on, which I did not have any makeup on. I had my pajamas on still. And he said, And you’re Mexican <laugh>. Um, I think Weston struggles right now with his independence at school, as he has gotten older, has started to ask me more what it’s like to see. I explained to him, just as he sees things with his hands, I don’t have to touch something to see it. Weston’s definitely taught me things in life. He’s taught me to see the beauty of nature by the sounds of the birds or the smell of fresh cut grass. He talks about how he can hear like a hawk, and he does. Weston’s taught me to be forgiving.

Weston’s taught me to stop, take a moment to breathe in all that we’ve been given.

[Outro Music]

Host:               This is Michael Nye, and you have been listening to a podcast of narrative histories. Christina said, “Growing up on a farm helped me learn the simplicity of life, working hard, and independence. It has helped me become who I am as a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, and a professional as well. Weston has taught me to see life in a completely different way. He amazes me with his sense of feeling. His careful touch. His curious compassion.”

Join me next week. Two new episodes will be released. Please subscribe, rate, and review this podcast. You can also go to my website, michaelnye.org/podcast for transcripts and other information. There are so many ways. Different ways to experience moments to their fullest. Thank you for listening.