Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hero Interview for the novella by Arlene James in A Mother's Gift

Interview with the hero from the novella by Arlene James in A Mother’s Gift:

1. Joel, tell me the most interesting thing about you.

I wish I could see your face when I say this, but then that’s the thing. I’m blind. Lost my sight in an explosion in Iraq. Since I’m studying law now, I’m set to be the only blind attorney in my hometown of Lawton, Oklahoma.

2. What do you do for fun?

Jogging. I love to run, love being out-of-doors. I get on that track at the park and just let it rip. That’s where I feel the most free, the most me.

3. What do you put off doing because you dread it?

Well, as a former Marine, I’m a big believer in getting it done, whatever it is, but I have to admit that I sometimes dread meeting up with old friends. If they haven’t heard about my blindness, they are invariably shocked, and if they have, they invariably feel guilty because they can still see. I don’t feel that way. I know God has a reason for this, and I’m okay with it. Now. Wasn’t always the case.

4. What are you afraid of most in life?

Getting lost. I can manage quite well in familiar territory, and that is an ever-expanding area, thankfully, but it’s so easy to get disoriented in a strange place. Thank God for cell phones!

5. What do you want out of life?

The same thing that every man like me wants: a family of my own, wife, kids, career, a home, the works. And I want to fulfill whatever purpose God has for me in this because I know in my heart of hearts that He has one. I’m blind for a reason, and I’m cool with that; I just want to live out that reason to the best of my ability.

6. What is the most important thing to you?

I’m alive. Not everyone who was there that day is. That’s the most important thing. I have a life, and I intend to live it completely right up to the instant God finally calls me home.

7. Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?

I haven’t learned Braille, so technically, I “listen” to books. I’ve always liked the legal thrillers—big surprise, right?--but it’s all about the studies just now, you know?

8. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Duh. Don’t mean to laugh, but it is rather obvious.

I probably ought to say that I’d be a better son or brother or something like that, but the truth is that if I could change things, I’d have my eyesight back. That’s just human, I think. On the other hand, I’m willing to do this any way that God wants it done. Believe me, I worked hard to be able to say that.

9. Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?

Nope, no pet, but I may take on a seeing-eye dog soon. I’ve always loved animals, and let’s face it, I could use the assistance, especially when I go onto campus. Right now, I’m studying on-line, but eventually I’ll have to walk the hallowed halls of law school, and that time is coming soon.

10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

Oh, I’d go back to that day, years ago, when my mom pointed out a certain girl to me, and this time I wouldn’t turn away.

This time I’d walk over, introduce myself and say, “Our moms are best friends, you know, and you’re just as pretty as they’ve been telling me you are.”

Maybe it wouldn’t change anything. I mean, I was already on my way to boot camp and she had a boyfriend, but you never know, do you? That face, that pretty face, has been in my head all this time. I see it constantly in my mind’s eye.

Could be worse, right? Believe me, considering all that I’ve seen, it could be much worse.

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