A Beautiful Life

Aisling could feel the heat of the sun on her skin. The breeze blew through her hair. The sound of birds singing echoed in her ears. Oh, what a beautiful day, she thought. She walked on the hard tar road with her mother, Geena escorting her. She felt Geena's tender skin as she gently showed Aisling the way.

"We're almost there, darling", Geena said softly.

Children's laughter filled Aisling's ears. She recognised the place immediately; she was at the playground in a park. Children glided down the plastic slide, making a lot of noise. The sound of rusty swings did not bother the gleeful children from playing with it. Then, Aisling's attention turned to a person who was panting as he passed by. His feet stomped loudly on the ground in a single rhythm – in other words, he was jogging.

"Why are we here, mom?" Aisling asked politely.

There was no reply. Her mother was still holding her, but she assumed Geena did not hear because she spoke too softly. She was not about to repeat, instead just followed Geena's lead.

"Now, sit here, dear", Geena said. Aisling obeyed. She sat on a wooden bench and waited patiently for Geena to speak again. She then heard someone giggling behind her.

"Happy Birthday to you", many voices suddenly sang – and they sounded wonderful. "Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday, dear Aisling. Happy Birthday to you." She recognised most of the voiced instantly.

"Ciara! Penelope! Felicia! You're here!" Aisling cried with enthusiasm.

"Of course we're here, dummy", Felicia teased.

"Do you really think we would miss your birthday? Our Aisling's birthday?" Ciara added.

Aisling's lips formed a wide grin. Only God understood the blissful feeling that swept her off her feet. She then felt heat near her face.

"Now, blow out the candles, darling", Geena said excitedly. She blew the candles and her friends and families put their hands together. "Cakes anyone?" Geena announced.

Aisling's friends and families took turn wishing her 'happy birthday' and handing presents of different sizes and shapes – mostly rectangular. She loved the feeling of being surrounded by the ones she loved and the things she liked. However, she wished she could see the designs of wrappers even though what was inside was more important. She wished she could see how her birthday cake looked like even though it was delicious. She wished she could see how people actually looked like and most of all; she wished she could see their beautiful smiles. But the wishes could never cover the fact that she was blind.

Every times anyone calls out her name; it gave her hope that one day – one fine day – she would be able to see the reason why God did not give her the gift of sight because the meaning of 'Aisling' is dream or vision. Nevertheless, she was grateful; that she found true friends who were willing to guide her patiently, a family that was willing to give a hand, and a mother who gave her something she needed more than sight: love and care. What more can she ask for? She knew she had more than anyone with sight could ask for. "Thank you, God", she smiled.