Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I have a good eye and a bad eye. When I was a kid they said I had a "lazy eye". My good eye gets about 20/30 (I said it was my good eye, not my great eye). I don't recall what my bad eye last tested at, except that it was depressingly weak and cannot be corrected. I cannot read with it, for example, unless the fonts are huge.

When I was 14 years old I almost lost my good eye. The only thing that saved it was... a blink. A neighborhood kid fired a BB gun towards me and, by pure chance, it was perfectly aimed at my eye. An instant after he had pulled the trigger, again by pure chance, I happened to blink. The BB struck near the center, but rather than go into my eye, it hit my eyelid. I did still lose sight in the eye for a while and there was some question about if there would be permanent damage. I had to spend two weeks immobile on my back to allow it to heal. Ultimately, there was no permanent damage and I went on my merry way.

Tonight, as I was taking a walk, I remembered this event that occured almost 35 years ago. I closed my good eye for a while as I walked, taking in the Monet blur that might have been my only view of the world. How different would my life have been if not for that blink? I probably would not have been able to qualify to drive with my remaining bad eye. Certainly my career options would have been more limited. Would I have met my wife? I wouldn't have seen her across the room that very first time.

Then I got to thinking... How many "blinks" have happened in my life that I'm not even aware of? How many disasters might have been, but for some miniscule providential deflection? Even if someday something does come out of the blue to radically alter my life for the worse, I am grateful for all of the good days I've had. Life is a gift. Every moment of every day is a gift. Appreciate it. Relish it. Give thanks for it.

It can all change--or not--in the blink of an eye.


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