Thursday, September 27, 2012


Recently we spent some time up in Logan, Utah, at one of our favorite places: the American West Heritage Center. It's a living history place where the kids can throw tomahawks, card wool, pull a handcart, ride a pony or a train, milk a cow, hunt for chicken eggs, stop by the general store for some hard candy, and learn and experience novel things about life in the American West. We love it there.

On this trip we stopped in the Woodwright Shop, which was being manned by a talkative grandpa named Jack. I noticed this picture on the wall and asked who the man was.
"That's Patch Peterson," Jack said. "He started this shop. That's what happens when you use a high-speed drill with a low-speed bit."

He went on. "He left two years ago. He can barely see anything anymore."

Instantly, I felt a little sick. I always feel uncomfortable when people in their 50s, 60s, or 70s talk about one of their eyes not working very well anymore. I only have one eye left. In a couple decades will my world go really fuzzy or completely dark? I try not to think about it too much.

Hope is a choice, I often tell myself. I can't live in fear of going blind. I can't live in fear of my cancer returning. I can live in fear or live in faith. I am alive. I don't want my life to be over because I had cancer. I remember the words of a friend who lost both eyes to cancer: "Life being blind is still a life worth living."

I swallowed hard. I tried not to panic as I processed what Jack told me about Patch Peterson. He finished with this: "He's about 75 years old. Now he has to carve by feel. Some of his stuff is for sale in the gift shop."

Patch lost an eye and now, in his 70s, is pretty blind. But he can still carve well enough to sell his stuff. "Life being blind is still a life worth living." Hope is still there. Hope is a choice.

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