We had a scare not long ago. “The doctor fears I’m in for macular degeneration,” said my wife. I have all the markers: family history, genetic tendencies, foggy vision.”
“Oh, what does the doctor know?” I said, defiant and terrified.
“I still see just fine, really” said my wife.
Hours passed. We talked. She might go blind. Her aunt did. Her mother is. She might not. We laughed. We cried. We were all over the place.
“I’m sick of blindness,” I said. “I’m sick of living it. I’m sick of writing about it. I’m sick of thinking about it.” I fell silent, shamed by selfishness
“I feel nothing,” said my wife.
Hours passed. I paced. She sat still. I wrung my hands. She wiped her eyes.
“Blind couples get by,” I said.
“But who wants to?” said my wife.
She’d only gone for a new pair of glasses. One thing led to another. Now her future was a prognosis.
“Your mom could see fine ‘til she was 85,” I said. “You’ve got a long, long time.”
“I’ll get those really good vitamins,” said my wife. “And I’ll see a specialist.”
Days passed. I cried alone, out of sight, while she slept. “Not her. Please, spare her. Spare her the fear when the stairs disappear. Spare her the sadness when faces blur. She taught me vision endures when eyesight fades. Give me strength to teach her now. Show me how to protect her from the pain.”
We had a scare not long ago. We feared my wife will go blind. Then the specialist said it’s not macular degeneration. Not yet, anyway. Maybe later. For now, it’s cataracts.
For now, the matter is settled.