January 28, 2004
For anybody who has a severe disability and relies on a physical appliance to give them full functionality, the loss of said appliance is nothing short of terrifying. I recently had such a scare.
I sat down at my computer desk, and one of the lenses of my glasses fell out. No big deal. I caught the lens in my lap, reached down by my feet where I had a precision screwdriver set that I had neglected to put away from a previous project, and put the lens back in and tightened the screw. Even with the frustration of trying to tighten a teensy screw while holding a lens in place and trying to see to do the procedure with my 20/600 vision, the entire process took about five minutes.
Then I started shaking.
The screw could have fallen out in the carpet, and, at best, taken me hours to find. Worse, I had just spent the past couple hours shoveling my driveway. It could have fallen out in a snowbank somewhere. Anywhere. The lens could have fallen on the floor or ground and gotten gouged or broken by my blind, clumsy self as I was searching for it. All I could think was, without my glasses, I would be helpless. It was Sunday. I was home alone. I couldnít drive into town to see an optician even if one were open. And, assuming I had a way to get into town on Monday, what would I do with myself until then? I couldnít read. I couldnít write. I couldnít do crafts.
Of course, in reality, Iím pretty good at improvising. I would have put on my glasses and closed my ďblindĒ eye and searched for the lens. Then I would have taped the lens in and hung in there till Monday, and driven myself to the nearest optician, where they would have charged me little or nothing to replace the screw. Once I calmed down, I realized that.
But that didnít stop my heart from racing for quite some time after I had the glasses repaired. With the loss of one teensy quarter-inch screw, I would have been effectively blinded. Handicapped. Funny how I have never really thought of myself as handicapped. I wear glasses. A nuisance, but nothing major. To me, my glasses are about on a par with being short. Itís a pain, but really no big deal. But without them, I am helpless. I am, indeed, handicapped.
But I didnít lose the screw. I didnít lose the lens. I didnít even have to get up from my chair to blindly search for a glasses screwdriver. Laugh if you want, but I consider it a mini miracle, one of the tiny little things God quietly does to make our lives a bit easier, things we usually never even notice. Well, I noticed. And I am grateful.