My Mentor, My friend, My Inspiration by Leona Emberson

The most significant and impactful vision habilitation therapy I ever received came through meeting a friend and mentor. This woman, who I had the privilege and honour to call my friend and mentor, had the same visual condition as me, worked for the same employer, and had the generous spirit and love of life I strive to embrace.

For those reading who have had, and accepted, the opportunity to develop this perfect mentorship match, you will understand what this relationship meant to me. For those of you who have not yet had this hounour, this gift of life altering time and encouragement, I will try to explain what it means.

This woman understood the challenges I faced daily, because she had lived them. She understood the things I could not do, because she had already discovered them. She knew how to face the challenges and adversity I faced, because she had already battled them. She knew when to encourage me to fight, and when to stand aside and let me discover the adventure alone.

This woman saw my strengths and encouraged me to recognize them within myself. She recognized my weaknesses, and helped me develop them. She encouraged me to do the things I was afraid of or had not considered. She has helped me become the woman I am today.

Her final lesson taught me to accept life as it comes, with dignity, love, and humour. She demonstrated how to embrace what life brings you and work with it, “look after yourselves and each other. You figure out how, but do it now, not later…. there is no later. Do not put off happiness.”

An understanding and supportive mentor is someone we all need in our lives, whether we have a disability or not. No matter what your challenges are, finding someone who understands you, and can encourage you to overcome and live with your challenges is invaluable. When you find that person, that unique individual who understands you, do not hesitate. Accept them into your life; accept their advice and feed off their encouragement. Allow them to help you become the best person you can be.

To my friend and mentor, I love you, I will miss you, and I strive to use all that you have taught me to make me the best person that I can be. Thank you for sharing yourself with me. You will be with me forever Moore.

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