Yesterday I had an eye appointment. It had been three years, but my prescription was fine, my eyes in good condition. I'm thankful.
I'm thankful because the woman at the counter asked me, not where I was employed, but whether. And I could answer "yes."
I'm thankful because after somehow reaching my home safely despite the eye drops, I couldn't think of what to do. I couldn't read. I couldn't work a puzzle. Couldn't go outside (too bright) to fiddle in the garden. So I'm thankful that I have vision.
I guess I wasn't always that way. As a boy, I didn't want to wear glasses. So I hid the note the school nurse sent to my parents. Destroyed it, more like--and suffered for another two years. I remember using the complex refracting properties of my fingers and eyelashes to read the chalkboard. This must be how people used to do it, before they invented glasses.
Then--well, I thought maybe I should experience some kind of miracle. Raised with faith-healing on television and in revival meetings, I decided that my eyes warranted divine intervention. So I prayed, and then when it didn't happen, I felt guilty. And then when I was tired of that, I sulked.
Somehow it took me another thirty years to discover that the miracle was there all along. I can see! With lenses, I have 20/20 in both eyes. What a gift that is. And this morning, even though my eyes ache a bit from the drops and the torment the doctor put them through, I'm not taking for granted the sight of sunlight on the green leaves of the dogwood, or the flicker of green lights on my router, or the ability to read what I've just written.
When I finally got the glasses, the first thing I noticed were the gray hairs on my mother's head. I was young and dumb enough to say that out loud. But in a sense, gray hair is also something to be thankful for. I should know; I've got some of that, too.