“I had lost my sight in September 2012 from Diabetic Retinopathy. Logan (son) had seen how I went from living my life as a person who was sighted and had no self-confidence, to being a person with no physical sight and finally being proud of who I am. I finally can walk in a room with my head held high, knowing that I am enough and that I don’t need to prove myself to anyone except myself.” ~Liz Oleksa
The image is a mock magazine cover titled Blind Beauty. Liz Oleksa, her son, Logan and guide dog Bryce Krispie are on the cover. Liz and Logan are both smiling while Bryce Krispie is looking intensely at the camera.
Blocks of text superimposed on Liz & Logan’s photo are: “Bold | She Keeps Pressing Onward,” “Blind | She Has Deeper Insight,” “Beautiful | She Sees To The Heart Of Others”
Liz Oleksa, President of Lehigh Valley Council of The Blind has one of the most sparkling personalities of anyone I’ve met. I’m so happy I connected with her. The loving gesture made by her son is a testimony to the content of her character as a parent.
It all began when talking with my 13-year-old son, Logan about this really amazing website and blog of “Bold Blind Beauty,” and the icon that comes along with it all; her name is Abigale. She is a beautiful combination of “Ability” and ordinary brown bird, the “Nightingale.” Abigale is depicted as a classy bold woman, who wears a stylish dress, handbag over her arm, a snazzy updo hairstyle and proudly walks with her red and white cane, as Abigale is a woman who happens to be visually impaired.
I was speaking with Logan about how important it is to be proud of who you are, regardless of disability, regardless of how we look on the outside because we all have an inner beauty that shines through. It is about how we present our attitude and image of “self-worth” to the world around us. Logan said that it was really cool and an impressive idea to be sending out to everyone, not only people who are blind or visually impaired. He told me that made him think of something, and he would be back in a bit because he wanted to go make me something.
I had lost my sight in September 2012 from Diabetic Retinopathy. Logan had seen how I went from living my life as a person who was sighted and had no self-confidence, to being a person with no physical sight and finally being proud of who I am. I finally can walk in a room with my head held high, knowing that I am enough and that I don’t need to prove myself to anyone except myself. I have always joked with Logan about my loss of eye-sight, that no matter what, I will always be cooler because I can do everything with my eyes closed, so to speak…
Needless to say, about a half hour later, Logan came back to me and said that he had something to share with me. He had taken my positive attitude and combined it with the amazing “Abigale” concept to create an image of his very own. He described it as the following to me: It is a silhouette of a man using a red and white cane, on a pure white background. The man is facing the right of the picture where the black text reads
“Blind people can do anything that sighted people can do. But blind people are cooler because we do it with our eyes closed!”
He told me that he was so proud of me because he knows that whenever someone says to me that I can’t do something because I am blind, my initial reaction is to prove them wrong and say, “Watch me! I may not do it the same way, and it may take me a bit longer, but I WILL do it!!!”
This is such an important message to be sent out, for both Abigale and “the silhouetted man”. Not just for the blind and visually impaired community, but for all people. People as a whole. So many people, disability or no disability, struggle with negative self-image. What people need to remember though is that it doesn’t matter what the outside looks like, but rather what shines from the inside. How can we present ourselves in confidence, self-pride, and self-worth if we keep a negative image of ourselves as a whole? Let yourself be proud of who you are! You are unique and beautiful in your very own individual way, and that inner beauty has so much to share with the world!