I Hear a Symphony

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.

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3 Responses to I Hear a Symphony

  1. Jenny T says:

    Hi Jeff, Your words always hit me so close to my heart. If there was one thing that I could spare my loved ones, it would be pain of any kind; however, in this degree that I am training for, I see every day just how lucky and blessed I am in my life. Trust me, the message doesn’t always hit home, but when I am finished feeling angry, sad and depressed about blindness, I am usually left with perspective. Currently, I am working with an acute crisis response team, helping those that have been traumatized by the recent school shooting. As I already work with traumatized and abused children, this type of counseling is not new to me. I am not working directly with the children and families impacted by the tragedy, but am providing counseling for the counselors and first responders. I am always humbled by the resiliency of the human spirit, and in the children that I work with and in the individuals that I am currently counseling, I see hope, something I think that we could all use around the holidays. So, best wishes from Blazer and me for a safe, healthy and happy holiday season. I will be surrounded by over 100 of my family, extended family and friends, and hope that everyone who is reading this has the same. Jenny and her wonderful guidedog Blazer

  2. Nancy Bollero says:

    Jeff this was a very powerful post. Thank you for writing it.

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