Just as Steve asked me to, I called as soon as I reached his home.
“Hi, Steve. I’m here,” I said. “Would you like me to come to the lobby?”
“Whatever you’d like,” Steve said. “You can meet me in the lobby or I can meet you at the curb.”
Such a response wouldn’t be unusual from almost anyone. But Steve Maranville isn’t like any other person I know. That’s because Steve can’t see. But he isn’t blind.
Steve was raised by his mother’s parents.
“They raised me as if they were my parents,” he explained to me once. “They loved me and cared for me very well. But I still felt this deep sense of loss because I had lost both of my parents.
“Then, just as I was entering my seventh year of life, my eyesight began to fail,” he said. “By the time I had my seventh birthday, I could hardly see. I became pretty much completely blind very quickly. It was a challenging time for me!”
It was also a challenging time for everyone in Steve’s life. One of his teachers at school finally called his grandparents to tell them know he was having a difficult time dealing with change.
“When the teacher asked us to change our activity, I would simply continue to do what I was doing,” he said. “I was desperate to feel as if I had control over something in my life! I guess I was doing the best I could do to deal with all of the changes that had occurred in my younger years. Now I have a goal of throwing one thing away each day.”
No, that doesn’t mean he’s in the habit of throwing his physical possessions out, even if they’re still of value to him. He was talking about throwing out any hurts he’s accumulated along the way. It’s the way he began to embrace change and growth.
“I think that’s what I love about what I do!” he said. “I think it has made my ability to help entrepreneurs develop and grow new companies effective. It’s my passion! I simply love it! Perhaps I can see some things that others just can’t.”
Steve has had a great sense of “vision” humor ever since I’ve known him and our time eating lunch together on this occasion was no different. We laughed a lot as we ate, as well as on our way back to his home.
Upon our arrival, we walked arm in arm to his front door where we embraced before parting. I walked easily up the concrete path to my car. I could clearly see the way. I opened the door to my car, sat in the driver’s seat and paused, wondering at all the things in my life I’ve allowed myself to become blind to.
Steve has shown me there is a difference between not being able to see and being blind. He’s also shown me there are plenty of things burdening growth in my own life that I need to throw away, one day at a time.
Lynn Butterfield lives in Erda and is a managing broker for a real estate company.