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  • Anna-Maria is a few years older than me, but she looks young. She is the mother of a long - time patient of mine and she is nearly blind by AMD (Age - related Macular Degeneration).

    While her daughter reads her the menu she puts her wine glass on a white napkin so as to see and not throw it over.

    Anna-Maria talks openly about her life, maybe because she knows I am a therapist, and passion leaves her mouth with every word she pronounces. I immediately take to her and we touch each other´s arms and hands often.

    "When my eyesight went about 10 years ago," she explains," I suddenly saw how crippling my marriage was: My husband mostly stayed home and I worked hard for 36 years to feed him and our 4 children. I was a documentary researcher and librarian, I speak 5 languages, everything I did was with my eyes and then they slowly began to die. After 40 years I divorced my husband. We are friends now and I see how we both have grown: he is learning to take care of himself and has the beginnings of a social life and I am learning about my fragility and asking for help when I need it. Finally I see that I am not Superwoman.

    I live with my two sons: the oldest is schizophrenic. Four times he tried to kill himself, then he went through Electroshock - Treatment and now he can still not lead a normal life, but he has never tried again to commit suicide again. My younger son is a lot like his father: he works at home, all his relationships with women have failed, he does not have friends, and I guess he is depressed.

    I cannot leave them and they have not managed to leave me, we have little money and the only thing we own is our little apartment."

    She tells me this matter - of - factly, she does not cry, she does not complain. She is filled with curiosity.

    “I have learnt Braille, I am going to therapy, I am in a women’s group where we write our autobiographies, I have been through rehab, where I have learnt many tricks like this thing with the napkin under a wine glass. They even taught us how to beg with dignity on a street corner once a month! I have many blind friends. One is a cellist in a symphony orchestra, another one is a marathon runner. She tells me: wait that you grow completely blind, Anna-Maria, and then things become easier again!"

    We order another glass of wine.

    Can you imagine how good she does to my heart?

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    Art by Kiki (OJOS QUE VEN, Collage 2013)

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