There are so many people who don’t see, who live their lives with their eyes shut to the world around them every day, but that’s far from the case for one Texas family. They see clearly. Their eyes, and their hearts, are in 20/20 focus, and the clock is ticking.
Nine-year-old Ben Pierce of Denton, Texas is being given the gifts of a lifetime by his parents Dan and Heidi. He was born 17 weeks premature, and consequently suffers from a condition that is slowly draining his eyesight. Already, Ben has lost his peripheral vision, and his parents believe the rest may soon follow suit.
Ben’s mother, Heidi, stated:
And so our goal became, what can we help him experience to store up these memories? And we sat him down and said, ‘What do you think would be cool to see? What’s on your wish list?’
Over the last year, the family has banded together to help Ben build the visual memories that will stay with him the rest of his life by traveling around the world crossing whatever they can off of Ben’s “before I go blind” bucket list.
They’ve explored everything from the Grand Canyon, to the Aurora Borealis, to the capital of Austin and far-off Van Goghs.
Ben’s mother continued:
We tried to stay very true to exactly what he said. Some of it was weird. He wanted to see the inside of a water tower. He wanted to see the inside of an Apple store, and his enthusiasm about seeing these things… His joy is contagious.
Ben’s also asked to view chalk under a microscope, too. His father, Dan, stated:
He’ll be able to talk about what the ocean is like with his kids.
Mother, Heidi, finished for Ben’s father:
And he will remember in his mind what that looks like, because he was there before.
And if you wonder whether Ben can really understand and fathom the gifts his parents are giving him, Ben sees that more clearly than you may think, too.
When asked, “Do you realize how lucky you are that your parents are helping make all this happen?” Ben thought about it for a long time, then asked for a pencil and sketched his response in a series of doodles – something he does when his response is rooted in strong emotion. He sketched many of his memories with his parents, from the Aurora Borealis and a little kid looking up, saying “Wow!” to the Apple store and a little iPad – you name it – all followed by a little equals sign that equaled:
Yes, I’m thankful.
While most of us will stumble through our lives blind to the roses around us like a bunch of bats in the daylight, Ben and his parents, it’s clear, will continue to see clear as can be, and their vision is beautiful.
You can view the CBS interview, here.