I think all of us must’ve played a blindfold game at some point. For example the one where you are the “blind one” and you have to catch those who “see”, when you can see little to nothing. Sometimes you can’t even tell where some people are. How long can this take? How long until you catch someone and you can take off your blindfold? Not much… a minute, two maybe? … Now, what if you would have to wear it more… not 5 minutes, not 10, not a day… but a lifetime… Have you ever thought how would that be?
As some of our readers might remember, a couple of months ago, in December, our team went to visit an organisation called “Love me as I am”, that deals with people with disabilities. One of the ladies there caught our attention in a more special way. She was so cheerful and lively, smiling and laughing. It was very comfortable talking to her, we instantly liked her. At first, I was wondering what kind of disability she had because I couldn’t tell. Then, I suddenly realised: she couldn’t see.
Seeing her lively demeanor and her open way of talking, we wanted to ask her more questions. So she agreed to meet us again and talk to us about her life. To be honest I was truly impressed by her. But the best way would be to hear Antoneta herself:
The first thing that impressed me was that when we arrived at her house, she recognised us upon hearing our voices. Also, she could hear our conversation with her father that was showing us around the house (even when we were very far from her room).
What I truly found amazing, was that even though she’s been put through so many hardships, she still keeps her joyful spirit and her smile. The portrait of a fighter, if I may say so, and for that, I truly admire her.
What was also nice to hear, is that her life is VERY far from being dull. She travels a lot in country and abroad and she even learned Italian after losing her sight. She and her father kept mentioning a lot of friends and when we asked if it’s her or them who make the first step, she answered with a laugh: “They come to me!”. She adds that she doesn’t feel rejected at all, on the contrary. Seeing her happy face, I can truly understand why.
The sad part is that her problem could’ve been solved quickly if it wasn’t for the “dark part” in our history called communism. It makes you appreciate that you can now travel freely wherever you want. What wasn’t put in this video (because we talked a lot more) was the fact that when she needed it, she couldn’t get a cane and now she doesn’t feel safe unless someone is walking with her (this is still a problem in Romania, with other helping devices too, like prosthetic legs).
Somehow when she described how she “sees” with her eyes, I thought of a blindfold. And it occured to me: would I be able to live with such a smile, if that happened to me? In all honesty, I don’t know. And that’s why Antoneta is a person who truly deserves our admiration and appreciation. She is indeed a true role model for each one of us.