Thursday, January 29, 2009

What I Learned At The Eye Doctor

My pupils are finally starting to look normal again. For awhile today, my entire house was in the dark. The shades drawn and the lights off. It's ironic that just yesterday we were wishing for the sunshine and today, as I drove into the light, I was wishing my sunglasses were 3 shades darker.

I went for my eye exam today. Every three years I go to have my eyes checked from an Ophthalmologist. For a girl who has worn glasses since 5th grade, it's not traumatic or scary; just necessary and normal. Eye drops don't bother me. It's the after effects of the big pupils and the squinting that drives me crazy.

My grandfather was diagnosed with Macular Degeneration months after he retired at 65 from years working as a buyer at the Stockyards. He had big dreams of driving his Mustang around town, traveling, and playing lots of golf. His dreams were cut short by vision that eventually only allowed him to see peripherally. He must have been heartbroken. It didn't stop him or slow him down though.

My grandmother, who had never learned to drive, started driving at 66. Only on wide roads, clear days, and during the morning with little traffic. She had her routes figured out to only make right hand turns. It was amazing the places she could go.

I got to take the Light Green Mustang to college. My grandpa's pride and joy. He loved when, on breaks, I would come to their house with the car and take him for a spin. His homemade lemonade on the green AstroTurf front porch is a fond memory I keep in my heart.

Grandpa didn't let the near blindness stop him though. He played Golf every week, sometimes twice. He played the same course most times and had memorized it's layout. He knew his club strength and knew approximately where the shot would go each time. His buddies would watch and direct him to the ball afterwards. He dressed sharply every day, mowed his own lawn, and kept a daily journal.

When my husband and I were planning our wedding, we went to him and asked him to research the dates we liked and the normal temps, weather on that day. He was right on with his prediction for a November Saturday with 50 degree temps.

As a result of all this history, Eye Sight is not something I take for granted. Sure I could probably go to one of the shopping mall "eye doctors" and get the same exam for less, but I figure I go to the this doctor as a tribute to my grandfather. I honor the courage he had to face each day without his vision perfect, but his heart and soul right where they should be.

Grandpa loved God, his wife, children and grandchildren with all his being. I know he would have been crazy about my kids. His wife, my grandmother at 96 years, is still a part of our lives for which I'm grateful.

A and I made a stop on the way home for lunch after the eye appointment. I was wearing my sunglasses and she was wearing her big smile. She loved that we were sitting next to each at the tall tables. We had a great conversation about how fun it would be to work in a restaurant. She must have thanked me 25 times and asked if we could go to the Eye Doctor again and wear sunglasses and have lunch.

I learned a valuable lesson today. Seize the moment. No matter what your condition. Be thankful for the moments to just share life together with those you love.

My eyes are in great shape. My heart today is too.

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