It’s Gratituesday! Today I’m grateful for my eyesight.
Colors blaze in every hue and tone, distinct, vibrant and clear. I can’t imagine life with color blindness. (Also known more accurately as deficiency of color vision.) A world of gray and white and black would lack vitality. What joy colors bring into the world.
Blessed with a full range of vision, my eyes and brain are aware and make sense of things on either side of me. I can successfully navigate the cluttered aisles of a store, a plate of food and the minefield that can be had in getting in and out of a car.
My eyes and mind communicate important information such as a fork in my hand or a doorway on my right or left.
Slight variations in what my right eye perceives and my left eye looks at gives me depth perception and lets me gauge the distance of my hands to the keyboard or the width and height of a step I might need to negotiate.
What a wonder to see clearly with the simple assistance of a pair of eyeglasses. Without these specifically curved and polished pieces of glass or plastic my world appears blurry and vague. With such simple tools I recognize faces, read signs, and enjoy a view in the distance.
Since my mother’s stroke her eyes work in a new way. As far as I’ve been able to decipher all the information I’ve just barely begun to study, the closest definition of what her eyes do is called homonymous hemianopsia. Basically it means that the right half of her vision in BOTH eyes is missing. There is nothing wrong with her eyes, but rather the error occurs in the brain. It would look something like this:
Now transfer that to every single thing you look at every day. A plate of food, doing your hair, reading a newspaper, checking your Facebook page, riding in a car, walking. Seeing only half of everything from both eyes!
The thought of it makes my heart hurt and my brain throb and my entire self want to drop to my knees. Exhausting. Learning to see becomes a whole new task, actually I suppose it’s learning to interpret what you see.
Mom usually just laughs when she can’t find her fork that she’s already holding in her right hand. Today she tried to get some jam from her glass of milk because her eyes told her she had picked up the jam jar. She just started giggling at the absurdity of it all.
If it were me I’d throw the glass of milk and the jam jar across the room and scream in total and complete frustration. But Mom, she simply laughs. Amazing woman!
With time and healing and prayer her vision could improve and with it her ability to navigate her new world. That is our hope for her.
After breakfast we went on a drive out among the beauty of the rural countryside. I soaked it all in with my eyes like a water starved desert stranded person. Every wheat field, red barn, hillside, body of water, and silo filled me with wonder and gratitude. How blessed I am that I can SEE it all. To see it ALL!
I wanted to take photographs of every single thing I saw. I wanted to remember every detail, every color, every panoramic scene.
Look around you today. What do you see. Really look. Close one eye and look. Look out one eye and then the other, switching back and forth between the slight differences in perspective. Glance to your right and to your left without turning your head. What’s over there? Stare at your hand. See the freckles and the way the half-moon on your fingernails is lighter than the rest of the nail. Is the ceiling above you textured or smooth? Is there a reflection on the window? What color is the sky now, what color is it at seven?
Yes, I’m feeling immense gratitude today for what I can see.
What wonders there are around us.
What wonders there are in us.
Here’s a cover of a Johnny Nash Song “I Can See Clearly Now” that reminds me of my Mother’s optimistic attitude about the challenges she’s facing one month after her stroke. Thanks to the beautiful voices of Kristin Errett and Caleb McGinn.