Ruby: You Are More Than The Hand You Are Dealt

This post was inspired by Ruby by Cynthia Bond, a gripping novel about overcoming our past and embracing love in a racially charged rural 1950s Texas.  Join From Left to Write on May 8 we discuss Ruby. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.


If you are relatively new to the blog, you may have noticed a lot of book club posts. From Left to Write members don’t write traditional book reviews for the books we have been sent and read. Instead we use a theme, small or large, as a jumping point for our own posts.

Ruby was hard to read, not just because of the race issue but because a huge part of me was frustrated with Ruby. Ephram, another character in the book, was strong enough to overcome the past that he was handed and make a life that he was proud of, but Ruby could not. I wanted to shake her and tell her she was better than her past and her upbringing, she could have a life worth living.

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I will always say one of my biggest inspirations is my husband, and I know most of you are probably rolling your eyes and think that I am being super cheesy, but there are some parts of my husband’s life that I’ve never shared, and now we are ready to share with you. I asked Nick to write about his past and this is what he had to say:

When I was in 6th grade, I was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor that had the unfortunate side effect of causing me to lose all sight in one eye and a good deal of sight in the other. At first it was thought that some of my sight might be restored in some time, that the vision loss was only a temporary effect of excess brain fluid causing pressure on my optic nerves until a shunt was installed in my head to relieve said pressure. However, after visiting quite a few specialists, it was determined that I would likely live the rest of my life as a legally blind individual. 

Of course this was an insanely difficult burden to bear by an 11-year old and luckily I had the most incredible family to help me through what I still look back on as the most difficult time in my life. My teenage years were spent trying to adapt to my new situation, a great deal of that time spent wishing that things could go back to the way they were when I could see 20/20 like the rest of my peers. Gradually, as I started coming to terms with the hand life had dealt me, I started to accept who I was. Eventually I found that there were things in life that I could be great at, despite not being able to see. Music became a huge passion and by the time I was accepted into college, computers had also become a significant part of my life, ultimately shaping my career path.  

 Today I am a very successful software developer. I get to work on life-impacting software every day, which is more that I could have ever hoped for out of a career. I have a beautiful family of my own and we live in a wonderful house. I have more than many people in this world would ever dream of, and I am so thankful for that. Can I see well enough to drive myself to work, or read books to my son, or catch a baseball? No. But I refuse to live my life being defined by the things that I cannot do and rather, focus on the things that I can do. Yes, sometimes things are harder for me, and from time to time, that really sucks, but at the end of the day, I truly believe that If I work hard enough and try to be a good person, life will reward me the same as it would any sighted person. 

Honestly, reading what Nick wrote brought me to tears, he hasn’t by any means had it easy but he could’ve taken a much different path than the one he is on. He could be living off disability money from the state, being angry at the world, but he chose to live a life that will fulfill him and fulfill his family. Not only is he a positive person, but he doesn’t let other people’s ignorance annoy him or take away from his life (something I am still working on). He is a better father than many and an amazing husband. I am so grateful that he is a part of my life, and that we walk this path together.


26 thoughts on “Ruby: You Are More Than The Hand You Are Dealt

  1. Thank you so so so much NIck for sharing your story.

    • He definitely is, and I can’t wait to see what our children learn from him, because he sure is inspirational!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us Nick! You are an inspiration to people that anything can be overcome. Josh’s best friend Omar is legally blind in one eye and has had to multiple surgeries on both his eyes. He still can’t see out of one of them, but he’s a rockstar doctor at Boston Medical. Everyone has burdens, I think it’s what you do with them that matters.

    • Thanks for sharing Omar’s story. The Boston hospitals are the best in terms of care for legally blind patients, at least from our experience!

  3. Nick thank you for sharing such a heartfelt story. This might help teens going through similar challenges. It’s amazing to see your positive outlook and happy family!

  4. Wow, so amazing of Nick to share this! I remember when you first told me his story I was surprised. I had always assumed Nick was legally blind since birth, and while that is such a hardship I also feel as if it is even harder to know what sight is and then have it taken away. Nick is so strong to have overcome and accepted this challenge. He is (as my sister would say) killin’ it with a beautiful family and a steady job. Thanks for guest posting, Nick!

  5. That’s very brave of both of you to share and write this post. I’ve known several blind relatives that just quit living, refusing to learn how to get along in the world and just counting on the charity of family, friends and social help.

  6. what a great lesson – to determine not to be defined by one’s “can’ts” but by the “cans”! love it. and so glad that Nick is healthy and successful!!

  7. Oh Kelly. Thank you so much for sharing Nick’s story. I can’t imagine what a challenge that must have been. But you’re right. We all do have a choice to make in how we react to a situation and what path we choose to take.

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