Jean is simply an extraordinary individual, who has cared for herself throughout her life. Blind since childhood, Jean decided she would never let blindness get in the way of what she wanted to do in life. She has been totally self-sufficient and has enjoyed a full career and social life.
Jean grew up in an alcoholic family environment, and although her mother loved her deeply, she struggled with raising two other sighted children as well as an over-bearing, alcoholic, and abusive husband. So, it was decided early on that Jean would do better in a state school for the blind, and indeed, she thrived.
Jean graduated with high grades and along with her guide dog, she soon found herself in a corporate environment with a large international corporation. She had the help of state of the art (at that time) tools for the visually impaired along with her amazing self-determination. On her own, she travelled to and from work by bus, making bus changes with her dog. When she did end up in the wrong place, she would make a joke about it. She truly inspired her colleagues.
Her friend, Rosemary, who met her at work, said, “Jean is spunky. She never has let her blindness get her down. Plus, she has always had a great sense of humor and often posts her jokes on Facebook. She truly is a remarkable person.”
As technology evolved, so did Jean’s technical level as well as her income. Always a fan of County and Western music, Jean became an avid follower of Randy Travis and joined his fan club. This led to over 200 trips across the county alone to attend his concerts in the 1980’s and for the next twenty years. She eventually met him in person. He brought her up on stage at one of his concerts, and he gave her roses and a bone for her guide dog. Jean was thrilled to say the least. Many sighted people wouldn’t be so courageous to travel so far alone.
Rosemary says that Jean also plays the keyboard by ear and loves to entertain residents of nursing homes with this special gift. She is always giving back.
Currently, Jean, who is just 66 years old, is under hospice care with a diagnosis of “failure-to-thrive.” She got an infection in June, and became severely dehydrated. Now, her body seems to be shutting down, and she is thought to have suffered a stroke. Rosemary and another friend have been helping to care for her for the past two months.
Jean truly loves the Lord and has lived her exemplary life through her great faith. An inspiration to so many, she needs our prayers now as she declines.
- Reading and quoting Scripture.
- Listening to country music, especially Randy Travis.
- Playing music by ear.
- Her guide dogs have been precious to her.
- Her “never give up” attitude and corporate career.
- Her strong friendships.
- Playing computer games with her blind friends.
Jean’s favorite saying is: “This too shall pass.”
Mathew 25:21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.
What an inspiration Jean is. Dear Lord, she has such a very special relationship with You. It is through her great faith that she could be self-sufficient throughout her life. She will find her reward in Your everlasting arms.