The Power of Words
By Patty L. Fletcher
When I woke up early this morning, I determined I’d have a good day.
I washed my face, brushed my teeth and hair, made coffee, and sat about the task of catching up my mail.
Everything was going along fine, until Blue and I took our first walk.
Before I go any further, I’d like to state very clearly, that I’m not writing this to make anyone feel sorry for me nor do I wish to gain an invite somewhere. What I want to do is to hopefully give you something to consider and encourage a bit of mindfulness concerning how you speak to someone and what you say to them.
“Be impeccable with your word” is I know, an extremely challenging thing to do but over the years I’ve become quite aware of just how important this is to try and do.
It is especially important not to just say what you think people want to hear or to make statements you have no intention of following up on.
This morning, while out for my walk, I ran into a neighbor, and she began telling me all about a day trip she and some others here in the apartment complex were going to take.
The reason this bothered me so much is because for the last three months or so, all I’ve heard is, “oh! We’d love for you and Blue to go with us. We don’t mind one bit if Blue comes along.”
But at no time, have I been invited to go. It is quite clear to me; they have no intention of taking me with them anywhere and at this point I don’t know that I’d go if I were asked.
I don’t even think the one who is always talking about the trips they take with me is aware of how much this hurts me, nor do I really believe it is their intent to do so.
I have said to them on multiple occasions how it makes me feel for people to do this sort of thing and it doesn’t seem to penetrate in any way.
I’d like to strongly advise you all to think before you speak. Take note of what you’re saying and why you say it. Words are immensely powerful and can at times make a hideously deadly weapon.
What did I do after having this experience?
I finished my walk. When I came to a nice quiet place with grass and tree I stopped, let blue have a long leash and stood taking deep breaths and when I felt grounded, I prayed that I would not react in hurt, anger, or jealousy. I asked Mother Father God to help me be the kind of woman pleasing to the Holy Spirit. I asked for the ability to be kind and thoughtful to everyone but especially to the group which had no idea of what they’re doing. To my mind, it is as Jesus said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
I do have one friend with whom I go to dinner each month. She and I take the time out of our busy schedules and go to dinner. We take turns picking up the check. It is a time for us to sit and talk. To catch up on what the other is doing.
This friendship is one I value a lot. So, I in no way want to belittle that by what I am writing here.
I’ve joined the senior center. I am trying to connect with more people there and in fact, I’ll be holding a presentation there on the 21ST during which I’ll talk about how to interact with me and Blue comfortably and correctly.
I know there are some who don’t want a dog in their cars. I know there are others who might be put off by the occasional uneducated business that might stop me at the door to attempt to refuse entrance. I get it. Being the friend of a person who is blind, especially if they own a guide dog can be challenging. But surely, it is not so taxing as to make me unfriendable.
I will not push myself on people. I will continue to pray.
Honestly, I’m starting to look at other areas in the US to live. There are places where persons who are blind are in greater number and towns are more blind friendly.
I used to feel as though I fit into Kingsport well. I felt I had a place and purpose here but these days I feel as though I’m a stranger in a strange land.
I also, used to feel comfortable no matter if I were the only blind person in a group. To me, it shouldn’t matter but these days it’s as if people are unwilling to look passed my blindness and see me.
I don’t know where Mother Father God wish me to be. If I am where I am supposed to be I’m not sure what it is I’m supposed to be doing. Until I figure it out, I’ll keep on being me and hope people will take a chance and not only get to know who I am but let me know them as well.
If you’ve read this far, thank you very much.
To those of you who are my true friends I love you and appreciate you very much.
About Patty October 2021
Patty and her guide dog Blue. Patty has her hair tied back in a low ponytail and rests her right hand on Blue’s head. She wears a white shirt with a pink and purple butterfly on the front and light blue shorts. Blue is a handsome black lab. He wears a brown leather harness with a handle attached to the back and is smiling at the camera as he sits in front of Patty. In the background is a brick building with white, windowed doors and a flowerpot overflowing with pink and yellow blooms.
Updated – October 2021
Patty Fletcher is a single mother with a beautiful daughter, of whom she is enormously proud. She has a great son-in-law and six beautiful grandchildren. From April 2011 through September 2020, she owned and handled a black Labrador from The Seeing Eye® named King Campbell Lee Fletcher A.K.A. Bubba. Sadly, after a long battle with illness on September 24, 2020, King Campbell went to the Rainbow Bridge where all is peace and love. In July 2021, she returned to The Seeing Eye® and was paired with a Black Labrador Golden Retriever cross named Blue.
Patty was born one and a half months premature. Her blindness was caused by her being given too much oxygen in the incubator. She was partially sighted until 1991, at which time she lost her sight due to an infection after cataract surgery and high eye pressure. She used a cane for 31 years before making the change to a guide dog.
WHERE SHE LIVES AND WORKS…
Currently, Patty lives and works in Kingsport, Tenn.
She’s the creator and owner of Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing (Author, Blogger, Business Assist), The Writer’s Grapevine Online Magazine and the creator and host of the Talk to Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing Podcast.
Patty writes with the goal of bridging the great chasm which separates the disabled from the non-disabled.
Patty’s hobbies include reading, music, and attending book clubs via Zoom.
Some of her favorite types of tunes are classic rock, rhythm and blues, and classic country.
Patty enjoys fantasy, science fiction, and books about the supernatural. She loves books by Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Norah Roberts, and many more. Some favorite books include Norah Roberts’ Hide Away, Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series.
Patty describes herself as a spiritual Walker. She says she knows both Mother Goddess and Father God and embraces all they have to offer.