t’s been seven years since
that second trip to Africa
and I’ve given up trying to make sense of
the unthinkable diseases, disasters and actions that cause a teenage girl to waste away aloneon her own body bag, wash away entire communities of people with a single wave, or put arandom death sentence on a nine-month-old baby. Or of why it is that some people seem togo through life unscathed, while others are besieged with unbearable suffering and tragedy.
But as I’ve battled my own fears over a future without eyesight, even while chastising myself for mourning my lost vision when so many people have it so much worse, I’ve somehow
this powerful force called Now. And for me, it’s become both my lifeline and
secret to navigating life.
Maybe it’s my complete lack of peripheral vision that keeps me focused on the present
moment when the world is plagued by chaos and misery, but after spending weeks in a dark
hole terrified over a future I couldn’t control, I’ve learned that by concentrating on Now, I can
handle the challenges in front of me, am more fully conscious of what matters to me, and havethe ability to embrace life in a way I never did before.For me, Now means soaking up the moments with my husband and two daughters, ages 12 andnine, and memorizing every inch of their faces so that should the
day come when I don’t see
I’ll still be able to picture them clea
rly in my mind. It means being conscious enough to
realize that when I’m feeling stressed and short
fused, I have the power to stop what I’m doingand breathe so I don’t waste precious time being angry and causing stress for people around
me. Now also means reducing expenses, which means less client work, which means more timewith family and friends. It means doing everything I can to preserve my remaining eyesight:eating healthy, working out and exploring alternative therapies. It means writing solelybecause I love to write. And it means letting go of accumulated hurt and resentment, because
I’ve learned that the
moments in front of me are too valuable to be burdened by baggage fromthe past.
As I’ve listened to news reports in recent weeks, firs
t about protestors throughout the MiddleEast being murdered simply for expressing their desire to be free, then about the enormity of the loss in Japan
the thousands dead, the half million people displaced, the estimated $100