The old man was given the gift of sight yesterday.
That’s a miracle by my definition, although my request for him to be given a personality change at the same time unfortunately went unanswered.
Most of us take our vision for granted. Admittedly, this middle-aged myopia-thing is a bit annoying and these days my bifocals have had to make their permanent residence on the top of my head. I also miss those tell-tale pre-Magnum hairs on my upper lip, being able to read the instructions on jars when I’m home cooking, being able to read texts, or frankly anything unless it’s written in font size 46.
If the old man had been officially blind he might have shown slightly more exuberance and gratitude when I collected him after his surgery, instead of moaning about how much his eyes were watering and how long he’d had to wait. But I knew the tension was the culmination of ten years of anxiety spent worrying about whether to risk what eyesight he had left with surgery.
Isn’t it incredible that in the west you can pop into surgery for a few minutes and get your sight back, yet in Africa people struggle to get shots that could save their lives?
He had a complete sense of humor failure on the day, which was disappointing. When I insisted he look at my face properly before he went under the laser, (just in case it was the last time he could), he didn’t crack even a hint of a smile.
And when I picked him up I was expecting a sort of Life Of Brian “I can see again, I can see! It’s a miracle!” reaction as I walked through the door – and I was quite ready to sing in unison with him. Instead of which I saw Robocop sitting sedately in the waiting room, (as Kurt empathetically nicknamed him last night), because you have to wear these very attractive sunglasses for the first 24 hours of sight.
“Have I really got to walk back to the car with you looking like that? ” I joked, trying to provoke a laugh.
I suppose he has always been able to see, like I have, only in the past he’s had to rely on the support of lenses and glasses and the severity of his shortsightedness left him feeling vulnerable, especially in the old days before throw-away lenses when he used to forget they were in a glass of water and drink them during the night, or like that time NC had a massive meltdown on a flight and accidentally karate-chopped his glasses in half.
The only problem with this miracle is obviously it means that he can see me first thing in the morning now, which may take some getting used to.
His new problem.