Catching Up With Acquaintances
I am self-aware enough to know I have a tendency towards arrogance and self-importance. Blame it on my being an only child. Whatever.
Just the same, when I lost a big chunk of my vision nearly six years ago, I thought it was kind of a big deal. Not that I thought it was News. I could never see Anderson Cooper interviewing me for CNN. (However, Anderson, if you are reading this, I could make myself available.) I did, however, think it was news, with a lower-case "n". Certainly, someone would spread the word about what happened to Sue.
Apparently, the gossip machine is nowhere as efficient as I thought it was... and I will go with that because the other two options are a) vision loss is not that big a thing, or b) no one noticed I was gone. Perish both of those thoughts!
Catching up with old acquaintances
Now, I do know that some people know I have been losing my sight. I was at a Christmas market a few weeks ago and a faculty member from my old district was there. She wanted to know how my vision was, etc, etc. Just the same, not everyone seems to know and when I run into someone who did not hear, it can make me sort of sad.
No, not because I am so important, but because those people have been important to me.
People notice when you disappear
When I moved here over 49 years ago, I established myself with a garage. They did all of the things a good garage does but also went that extra mile. I really cannot tell you how often they rescued me from some automotive misadventure.
Although the garage has changed ownership, “my mechanic” is still there. I had occasion to call there this week. I had a client who could not find anyone to do some minor bodywork on his car. Like many places, this area works according to whom you know, not so much what you know. I had a feeling working my connections and pulling a few strings would get my client a car body repairman.
When I got my mechanic on the line, he was surprised and even happy to hear from me. He told me how he had asked what happened to me. In his view, I had suddenly dropped off the face of the Earth. He was surprised to hear I had lost my central vision. Apparently, that was nothing he had considered.
A wave of sadness
Talking to him, I felt a wave of sadness. Not for myself. I felt it because I imagined what he thought when he realized I was no longer bringing my car in for service. Did he wonder if he did something wrong with my car? Did he think that after 40 years, I had gotten fickle and found a new mechanic?
Ok, so maybe he did not think those things, but I knew by his reaction to me he had noticed I was gone. Dropped off the face of the Earth.
A similar interaction happened in Walmart the other week. I ran into a guy I would see at the dog park. What happened to you? We haven’t seen you in a long time.
It was nice to know I was missed. Both these interactions were nice, but, as I said, they made me sad, too. I wish they had known it was sight loss keeping me away. I did not turn my back on them. I would be there with them if I could.
True or false: You always know if you have macular degeneration.