Thursday, October 18, 2012


Sometimes I wonder if one of my kids will feel a need to write their memoirs of what it was like being raised by a mother with only one eye. Some days I step on them, stumble over them, or just don’t realize they’re there on my blind side. When they play doctor, they usually pretend one of them has cancer. My kids have watched as I have taken my prosthetic eye out to show to neighborhood boys or kids at church who are interested. Other times I have worn an eye patch, and people in public have commented or asked questions. My kids have listened quietly or added their own thoughts—like the time four-year-old Jake followed a curious girl around the library explaining that I had lost my eye to cancer but I was just grateful to be alive, and he was grateful, too. Tender and sweet.

Then recently I went to my ocularist to have my prosthetic eye cleaned, and my kids came with me. Apparently watching my eye be removed and later put back in was an experience that necessitated some emotional sorting. On our drive home Abby said, “Mommy, I keep both of my eye balls in my eye spots.”

“Yes, dear, you do.”

What are my experiences like for my children? I don’t know. But I hope that along the way I can teach them to be compassionate and accepting of those who seem different. I hope I can teach them that life is precious and can change in an instant. I hope I can show them that I may only have one eye, but I am grateful to my core that I am alive to laugh with them, play with them, and love them. In that way, life with one eye is sweeter than life with two ever was.

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