Monday, August 3, 2009

A Blind Swim - A Great Partner

My husband, Brendan, and I went to the beautiful American River for a peaceful day away & to cool off in the mountain cold waters. It is about a 1.5 hour drive up there or so & I was blind the entire way. So I took a nap for a good portion of it. Other than that we had some needed nice conversation. Once we got there, we decided where we going to go on the River. It is actually a convergence so there are lots of places we could have chosen, but not matter which one, it's always a long hike down the mountain. After 3 years of directing me with blindness, Brendan is pretty darn good at giving me directions on which way to go & how to place my footing etc. We are a great team actually when it comes to this routine. So down we went. Soon I could hear the water moving, the water rushing, but mostly the people having fun. We picked a great spot where a group of people were just leaving & we had the whole spot to ourselves. I quickly got undressed in to 107 degree weather in Auburn, CA. & ask Brendan to assist me to the water where I could get in & sure enough my sight came back! Yippppeeeeeee, for now I could manage all by by myself. But the gent that he is, he still reaches his hand out so I don't fall on the rocks.

So the late afternoon turns into evening and the sun continues to shine down upon us as we play in the water. The neat thing about the area where we are swimming at is if we go in at one area, float down about 30 feet you can feel the water turn drastically warm. It is a lot of fun to go back and forth. Then we take a walk up the river about a football yard or so and go in there where the water is calm, like a pool. We play around in the water there for about a half an hour or so then walk back because the water is too turbulent and shallow to ride the river back to where our belongings are located.

Once we get back and go into the water I lose my eyesight. I choose to stay in the water. I know the spot well enough, we have been there so many times over the past 10 years that I feel comfortable enough to be in total darkness to swim around the rocks from the freezing cold water down to the warm water. But let it be known that I am still scared to be in total blackness. I am afraid of the turbulence, the rocks, the unknown that lack of eyesight brings even when you know the place so well, but I swim around it anyways. What fear I have, yet what courage I feel. I can conquer my fears. I can do it. I can live life in darkness and have fun just as I was with my sight. Soon the sunlight on my eyes hurts too much, where I must get out of the water and put my sunglasses on. Then we both decide we have had enough for a day & we start to gather our things.

We change our clothing. Gather up and Brendan starts forward and I hold on to the blanket he is carrying and listen to his voice direct me up the long steep mountain side. This scares me the most. I am afraid of my footing slipping on the rocks or the lose dirt. But each time I feel the fear start to take over my courage, I say a prayer asking God to give me the strength I need to endure the fear, trust in God and Brendan that I will be safe and I continue forward mustering up as much courage as I have in me up up up the mountain. It seems like it takes forever, but soon enough Brendan tells me we are almost to the car, so I push up a little more and soon enough we are there in the blackness.

We are in the car & I lay back to take my nap for the day in my darkness all the way home for over an hour and a half. The traffic is bad. Before I know it, I am home, sightless, but with dignity that I can live life no matter what obstacles are put in my path. I have fun if I am in the light or the dark. God is great all the time, especially when you have a partner next to you who believes in you. Brendan is a great partner in my life.

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About Me

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Sonoma, CA, United States
Thank you for visiting! My name is Jennifer K. O'Hara. I have the rare disease of IH, Intercrainal Hypertention, which casues me to go blind. I became ill almost 4 years ago on my honeymoon. You can read more about my story at I am a gal who has always worked hard & enjoyed working. Since I am unable to work now, I have come up with the online homemade web page & the goal to make a living through my creativity. I want to sell things to you to make you & those you gift to happy. Because I don't have my sight most of the time, it is taking me a little longer than I would like to get my items completed and listed. I am happy to report that I have many items listed at this time. You can email us at if you would like to be notified with updates. I really appreciate you visiting us here & I hope you come back again. Just remember that no matter what; you can do anything. Life is meant to be lived & I am going to live it! I wish you the very best! Keep on smiling it really helps! Enjoy THIS moment - for it is really all we have.

Brendan & Jennifer

Brendan & Jennifer
We are at the beach at sunset. Burrr!

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