EBU (Senior Group) Fine Work
A Shining Silver Line In My Life
Albania Mirela Kapedani (39/Female)
This is a story of love and devotion to me and to others supporting me. Certainly, it is not in our power to choose those who brought us to life, but we can certainly shape our future by the way we manage our life and the things we decide to undertake.
My life has not been easy so far but no one ever told me that was going to be any different. The first years of my life were full of colours, beautiful images now recalled in my mind. Every day I felt the happiness and at the same time sadness of my parents. I could feel their grief and pain when they looked at my elder brother and their attitude to his visual impairment. Every night I felt the anxiety of my mother feeling that the same thing could happen to me.
And, in fact it did. As the days went by, things, images started to fade away. I could feel my sight blurring and not able to distinguish things, people apart from one another. One night, I woke up in the middle of the night. Everything was in total darkness. I screamed loudly, unaware that I could no longer see and that day had been the last one fixed in my memories. My mother wrapped me tightly in her arms encouraging me and telling that we were going to face it together.
For days I refused to go out, friends came by and invited me to hang out but I did not want to meet them again. I closed the window as I could not bear the laughter and joy of the children playing outside.
Months went by and from my house I could hear the school bell. I heard pupil’s voices telling their mothers about their school days. I took a book in my hands and I felt alone. I did not know what was written in it.
One night as we were gathered together in the living room, I could hear a repetitive noise but could not make it out where it came from. My mother told me that they had bought a typewriter for my brother and he had started to use it. This was the first time I learned about a new system enabling blind pupils to read what was written in books. I felt curiosity but fear at the same time. Every day, I could hear my brother using it but never took the step to touch it myself. Then, one day, I knocked on my brother’s room and asked him to tell me more about it. I could feel my heart pounding faster and faster. Love toward those little raised dots which continues up to today.
I did not feel lonely anymore, I could read and express my thoughts through the Braille system. My passion increased and there were days when I slept together with the typewriter and the stylus under my pillow.
The following September, I started school and felt the joy and excitement of being with other pupils, sharing interests, things and learning new things about history, geography and math which I considered impossible at that time.
I can take pride in my achievements, being able to finish University and graduate. I am aware of the fact that this could happen without the leading light called the Braille system. This system was like a light, brightening my days, filling them with joy and emotions every day.
Being a teacher of students with visual impairments has encouraged me toshow my emotions openly to other pupils, students and telling them about my personal history and make them understand that the first step toward independence, integration and enjoyment of life fully and efficiently is to learn Braille and gain confidence in themselves, like I did.
Louise, my nephew, is named after the founder of this marvellous system and reminding me how lucky I was that I started to learn this system.