In the last couple of weeks, my husband has grown increasingly blind. He used to have a blurry pinhole of vision in his right eye to see out of, now he has a crescent sliver of that. His central vision is gone. The other day, in the living room, he grabbed me by my shoulders and started moving my body and turning his head to the side and up and down. I was startled by it. He isn't a super touchy-feely guy. He didn't say a word. He was desperate to see my face. I put on the biggest smile I could muster while my heart thudded against my ribs. I have begun to walk around with a smile pasted on my face, just in case he catches a glimpse of me. My cheeks hurt. I'm glad he can't see my eyes well, or he would see my heart breaking. I am his rock. He always has said that. I have to be the strongest rock now. I feel like powdered stone lately, but I am still a form of rock. My very best, longest time friend is soon to be completely blind.
I know it isn't the end of the world. Lots of people go blind every day. We've had time to prepare for this, and I am thankful for the length of time we've had with low vision. I have tried to steel myself for this, prepare myself for it, prepare him for it. But at the moment, it kinda takes the joy right out of me. My mind races with thoughts of, "How can I make this better?" I know I can't fix this. So I go on, as if not much has changed. Maybe just living each day as normal as we can is the answer, despite the elephant in the room. Blindness is BIG to me, like an elephant.
He has said he knows he can count on me to give him vivid, colorful descriptions of things. I am constantly blabbering on about what I see as we drive down the road. I don't know if this is the right thing to do right now. I will ask him. I don't know if it makes him sad that he can't see it, or if it helps to bring an image into his mind. Today, I saw the first small bright yellow leaves of autumn falling and the morning sunshine shot through them and made them look like brilliant yellow jewels of stained glass. Should I tell him what I saw? Will it help or be painful? I guess I will just ask him.
He is a determined man. He is a highly intelligent man. He is a very thoughtful, loving man. He has always risen to whatever challenge is presented to him. He has a quiet braveness and grace. I don't know if I would be like him, given this challenge. But he makes me want to be like him, and so I will. We can do this. Every morning, I will say the words to myself, "We can do this!" Powdered rock is still rock. I am a rock. He is a rock. Like concrete, powdered rock sifts in between the more solid pieces of rock, compacting and making things strong when you add the water of adversity. Together, we are rock solid. We will build something strong and beautiful from this, I just know it.