Where Should I Sit?

This past Sunday, I made another interesting observation in my life of living with macular degeneration.

Going to church

This was our Sunday church time, a beautiful morning in Southwest Missouri. The pandemic has changed some of our attendance practices. An earlier Mass is favorable, due to fewer people, making it easier to socially distance from one another. Arriving early enough to pick the perfect seat, we settled into the third pew from the front.

A short time later, the service began and all was well with the world. The singing was spot on and the service was touching and meaningful, a good place to be on this day. The placement of people was fine, and the staggered seating gave us a sense of space and security, so we assured ourselves that we were “safe”.

A moment

As I was listening to the homily of that day, my mind might have wandered just a bit. My thoughts were (and often are) "Am I seeing everything clearly from here?" As the Pastor was giving what was really a very good sermon, I could not help but notice a recurring practice of mine.

At that moment, it hit me: I consistently gravitate to an area of optimal visibility. I need to be as close to the front to ensure that I will be seeing what needs to be seen.

Front row seats

This phenomenon is not really out of the ordinary for me. My entire life I have been “the front of the class” kind of person. Throughout my elementary and high school days, this is where you would find me in the classroom or in a line-up. Up front and center.

It does not surprise me, as I stand proudly at 4ft 10 ¾ inches tall. So understandably, the shortest people always moved up to the front. I often found myself in front to have a better view in two ways: ensuring there were no towering people in front of me, and making sure that I was close enough to the action to counteract my poor vision.

As an adult

It has been a few years (43!) since those school days and still I gravitate to the front of the line, the front of the meeting, the front of the room. In addition to this practice is my other challenge, hearing. I have worn hearing aids for about 20 years, and I am sure I missed many things over those early years and I strive hard to not miss anything now. I move up front in these social settings with more confidence now, knowing I do not want to miss seeing or hearing anything anymore.

In front

As I refocused on that Sunday service, really noticing what I was seeing and hearing. I came to appreciate the opportunities that I have in being able to see and hear the things around me. Sure, some of my visibility was not the clearest and the audio, at times can seem somewhat muffled, but in the end, I was happy and fulfilled while I was celebrating that summer Sunday.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MacularDegeneration.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.