I posted a possible beginning to Capter 1 the other day but in fact this one was the first one that I wrote, which I think might like better. I will see what response this one gets.
I opened the car window and turned my eyes towards the path up to the little church that had come to mean so much to me. All that I could see in front of me was a thick white mist. The rustic woodn gate that opened onto the path was completely obliterated by the white mist. In fact, I could see nothing at all. Just a few months ago I had been able to see both the gates and the path, though they were very blurred. I felt a physical pain go through me as I realised that this was it. I was blind.
I had known for a few years that I was going blind, and everything happened gradually. Bit by bit things disappeared, and it felt like a long process of saying “Goodbye” to everything that I knew. More and more I was becoming separated from the world that everyone else inhabited and I was living in a world of my own where only the senses of hearing, taste and smell were left. Both sight and touch had gone.
As I looked at the white mist, I determined that, whatever the obstacles, I would make my way up that path somehow. Added to all the other difficulties I was also mostly wheelchair bound, though I could walk a short distance with my walking frame. I had to decide whether to try and walk up the path with my walking frame or whether to ask my husband to get my power chair out for me. Being fiercely independent, I opted for the walking frame. Not that independence figured much in my life but inside me I had an independent spirit. Inside me I was going to fly.
I grasped onto the walking frame, and began to move slowly and painfully forwards. Soon I came to the wooden gate, and took my hand off thte walking frame. Reaching up to the top of the gate I attempted to find the latch iinorder to open the gate. I scrabbled around for quite a time until I heard the latch going up. Wobbling precariously around, since I had no balance either, I began pulling the gate open with one hand, moving my frame backwards with the other hand at the same time. Eventually I got the gate completely open and was able to walk very slowly up the path. Unable to have a blind cane, because I was holding onto the walking frame, I had little idea of exactly where the grass was. I felt decidedly disorientated, but the wind was blowing gloriously in my face, and, cold as it was, I felt exhilarated. I stopped, just enjoying the feel of the wind, but I did not know whether I could make it right up the path and to the door of the church or not. It was many months since I had done this, and now, my eyesight was completely gone. I knew that if I did make it to the door of the church I would not be able to go inside as the door would be locked, but I woud have felt a great sense of achievement, and I could have thought back to those days when life was much simpler. Gradually, as my sight had gone, I had lost every scrap of independence that I had had. The whitish grey mist was now a part of my life, and I had to try and make the best of it. This represented my effort to do just that. However, upon getting about halfway up the path I felt too nervous to go any further. Having no balance I was afraid of falling, and being completely unable to see the path ahead, I felt slightly dizzy. Reluctantly I decided to turn around and go back to the car.