Not so long ago, Judy Hale was often seen walking around Cambridge with a guide dog at her side. Now trying to navigate a quieter life, she has packaged her story into a book that is being sold to raise funds for The Blind Foundation and its Guide Dog Services.

My ancestors arrived in New Zealand from England, Ireland and Scotland during the second half of the 19th century and their movements eventually led to my birth in September 1940 in Ngaruawahia, Waikato.

Following a blessed rural life spent around Maramarua in North Waikato, enriched with family love, animals and the land, in 1977 our lives were plunged into disarray at the death of my dear husband Barry at the age of thirty-eight.  We missed his strength, his praise, his hands, his voice and his love.  Our children were aged thirteen, eleven and eight.  Tentatively I regained a reason to exist, motivated by love for the children, our farm Waikarakia and tremendous support from family and friends.  Ten years and one day later I lost my sight, sense of smell and some sense of taste in a horrific equine accident.  I’m grateful, I could have lost my life.

This story has been written for my children and grandchildren, but I hope it will provide others with a sense of worth no matter what trials they must face.  I owe a great part of my confidence and positivity to Guide Dog Services and the Blind Foundation.

Some days are sunny, some overcast and some stormy, but like the plants in our gardens, we must all continue to grow.

Judy

‘Bright sunlight, dark shadow’ can be purchased at PaperPlus, Cambridge. They can also be ordered through Sam (Samantha.lifestories@gmail.com) at $35 plus package and posting.