Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Seeing Clearly


Today I took my mom to a doctor's appointment in the next state. She's lost a lot of vision from a thirty-year fight with glaucoma, typically an old people's disease that attacked her when she was thirty. She stopped driving a year ago, has trouble reading and washing dishes (until they're actually clean) and will very possibly be completely blind long before the rest of her body quits working.

Today we planned a radical surgery for her left eye that has a 15% chance of blinding that eye, but that's a lot better than the 100% chance if we do nothing. I asked her how she was feeling about it on the way home, and she nonchalantly offered, "Well, I've put my eyes in God's hands, and there's nothing else to do. I'm fine." Now that's blind faith.

Last week my microwave broke. You know how it is; you never realize how much you use something until it's out of commission. Not being able to reheat morning coffee has tested Mike's patience and my sanity. And we're not even past breakfast yet. What a major inconvenience!

Can you imagine the inconvenience of losing your sight? How would I fix my hair and put on make-up? Know if my clothes needed ironing, or if I missed a spot when I vacuumed. You wouldn't be able to drive yourself anywhere for anything, not even in an emergency. Dependent on someone else to balance your checkbook and read your mail. No more privacy, no more cooking, no more reading, no more sunsets or Fall leaves, no more smiling grandchildren's faces. No more reading lips to converse with people (because she has lost much hearing, too). No more Christmas lights or movies. Only darkness and ineptness left where there used to be independence and self-sufficiency.

If 'Amazing Grace' is once being blind and now seeing, what's it called in reverse? From watching my mom, it, too, is amazing grace. She's learning to count money based on how it's folded and where it's placed in her wallet, she's planning to learn Braille and go to blind school at sixty-seven. She matches her clothes with strategically placed safety pins and is learning her way around her house by feel.

Mom's only complaint has been that she won't be able to rub her eye anymore after this surgery. Only a woman with dignity, poise, and much faith would mourn such a trifle in light of the glaring limits blindness will bring. She isn't perfect by any means, but she's come much closer to that mark since God changed her life five years ago. My mom's brave and has overcome many a trial in her life with style and a sense of humor. I can only hope to someday see life with such clarity. I'll do it, too, Mom, 'Looking Through Your Eyes.'[Please click link to listen.]
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