When the blind lead the blind…

Both wind up in the ditch. from somewhere in Proverbs

Around these parts, we could substitute “ravine” for “ditch”.

I am in awe.

I never was blind, but I do have a case of cataracts. Actually, I only have one left, to
be replaced with one that somebody fashioned from some form of plastic. Next Tuesday afternoon, as soon as the fogginess from the second surgery lifts, I’m going to walk slowly around The Compound and look at everything through new eyes. I’ve already been tempted to make that trip, as I’m so totally astounded by this first lens replacement, but I decided to wait for the full effect.

I’ve spent most of my life trying to see better. I got glasses the summer I turned eight. I’m piling up glasses to donate, the ones that I’ve kept just in case. I think there are seven pairs. That may be a tenth of the number I’ve worn since third grade, not to mention the contact lenses. Except for two pair, my contact lenses have always been “hard”, or later on, gas-permeable. I was hoping someone could use them. I have twenty of those; not twenty pairs, just twenty. I didn’t start keeping the lenses until twenty-five years ago. Sadly, contact lenses are not reusable, even the hard ones. I’m thinking of making a mosaic of some kind with those.

...and that's not even all of them.
…and that’s not even all of them.










Last night, I decided that I would be okay, even grateful, if this were as good as it gets. I have the right lenses punched out of three pairs of glasses, and under one of those half-pairs, a skinny pair of no-rim readers. I can walk around and I can read. But the sweet, young surgeon promises even better things next Tuesday. She grins all the time, even when she’s talking.

Thanksgiving Day is almost here. Several of my friends post a gratitude item every day leading to the actual holiday. I’m not participating daily, but here’s what I’ve learned this week: I am thankful for my sight, poor as it has been, because there are so many who don’t see at all. Next, I am thankful for glasses, those magical slivers of glass-like plastic that allow so many of us to read, write, drive, walk around, recognize, witness, notice, peek, gaze, glimpse, behold, view, observe, examine, identify, watch, look…lay eyes on. I’m grateful for contact lenses, too, that gave me even better vision and halted my frequent prescription changes.

And I am thankful for research and development of improvements to sight, surgeons and assistants who wield the instruments, and support people who prepare, soothe, and clean up. These people I thank just lead me back to my own family, the ones who take care of me, their major caregiver. Mom’s always been far-sighted so she threads needles for me, and she feeds me when I can’t cook for all of us. Dad plants flowers and bushes for me since bending and lifting is prohibited for a couple of weeks. He does my gardening when I can’t be outside in high pollen counts because of asthma, too. Dave does it all…and that includes listening to my enthusiastic babble about my new eyeball.

When I look at this pile of glasses and contact lenses, I don’t see anything bad, not one dollar resented. I am just relieved, even happy, that I was always able to buy them. Some somebodies somewhere are surely to be as surprised as I was when I got my first pair of horn-rims in a delightful cat’s eye shape. Dad was driving us home from town, past the farm where a big red Hereford stood in the same place every afternoon.

“It’s not a cow,” I said. “It’s not a cow.”

My mother turned in her seat. “What’s not a cow?”

“That truck. That old red pickup truck in the ditch. I thought it was a cow.”

%d bloggers like this: