To the editor:
On April 14, my friend from Wichita and I were at Wheatfields waiting in line to pay for our breakfast. I have been blind since birth, but my friend's blindness occurred just five months ago. She knocked a display of candy bars off a shelf as she was looking through her purse. People around us picked up the candy and put the display back together as my friend apologized profusely and I explained that this kind of thing happens to both blind and sighted people.
Employees and customers were very patient and compassionate. One man said, "That's OK, they'll be easier to eat now." Someone else said, "yeah, they'll have a few more nuts in them." After breakfast, as we purchased baked goods, that same patience and compassion was shown again.
This was Tonya's first venture outside of her neighborhood without her trainer or a sighted guide, a major milestone for any blind person who is learning to live independently. As Tonya's friend and as the president of the local chapter of the National Federation of the Blind, I say a heartfelt thank you for helping to make her trip one that she calls "a blessing from the Lord."
Tonya arrived home safely with her Wheatfields treasures, loved her biscuits and gravy and informed me that I will be mailing her packages from the bakery quite often. This is so fantabulous!! It makes me proud to call Lawrence, Kansas, home.