What is that one thing that reminds you of an important event in your life? What is that one event in your life that reminds you that kindness exists, that there are good Samaritans around? What is that one moment that has changed the rest of your life?
My pair of eyeglasses that I’m currently wearing has a story to tell.
One day in February 1994, when I was still 8, at 6AM, I found myself inside an operating room of a public hospital in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines. Unfortunately, I could not vividly remember how the room exactly looked like and how cool the temperature was, but I'm sure there was someone, an anesthesiologist I found out later on, who told me to just close my eyes when I would feel sleepy. By the moment she said that, I fell asleep as if she used her telekinetic power to control me. That was actually a general anesthesia taking effect at the snap of a finger.
Then the surgery began. It was an eye surgery.
At a very tender age, I suffered from cataract. And because I acquired that disease since birth, the correct medical term is inborn juvenile cataract or congenital cataract. By medical definition, cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye or of its surrounding transparent membrane that obstructs the passage of light. The way it was explained to us when we learned about the disease is that the black part of an eye, which is the lens, is being covered by the white part. That’s eye cataract.
The surgery ended after 5 hours. My mom told me. I regained my consciousness at 10PM, that’s after 16 hours of being dead. I was already at the ward.
Since then, I have what I call manipulated eyes with two implanted lens and a pair of eyeglasses.
Since then, my pair of glasses has been my oxygen. I can’t live without it.
Interestingly, it is also reminiscent of so many good things, of so many good people.
Firstly, whenever I wear it, I’m reminded of the size of heart of those who helped save my eyes like my mom. She was there starting day 1. From finding a good eye doctor to hospital admission to the operation to monthly post-surgery check-ups. Together with my dad, she was begging left and right for financial support to pay the doctor fees and hospital bills. I’m reminded also of the powerful prayers my Tita recited just for me to stay calm during the surgery. I’m reminded of that one skilled and kindhearted ophthalmologist who was the only one who understood the situation of my eyes and settled for a lower professional fee.
Secondly, this pair of glasses symbolizes the path I tread, the tests I endured and the quality of life I enjoy now. I’ve had 3 eyeglasses already in the past. The first thick pair with a string or strap signifies my early childhood battles. The second one without a string, but still a thick one, reminds how financially-challenged we were because we had to ask for it from my cousin, while the third one represents the many sacrifices I had to make just for me to finish college. But the one I’m wearing right now is a very different from my old pairs. This has progressive lens. Quite pricy, but this makes me look better and younger (haha!). This is a fruit of my hard-earned income. I bought this three Christmases ago, a sign of progress, as we fondly call it.
Thirdly, this pair of glasses magnifies God’s love for me. Imagine, I got saved from a possible total blindness. This pair zooms in the beautiful privilege to see and feast on God’s grandeur and His majestic creation. It enlarges my character to see kindness and goodness in every person that sometimes the eyes can’t see, but only the heart can feel.
And lastly, the same pair reminds me of my own vulnerability as well as the fragility of life. That truly I am also weak. That I am also susceptible to hurts and disappointments. That I have my own insecurities and fears. And only when I embrace this reality that I become more connected with other people, that I become more open to receive love and to give love. To me, life is like a pair of glasses. It gives me the power to see things, but it is also breakable. With life’s fragility, I am reminded not to take things for granted, but to take care of it and make every moment counts.
Friends, what is that one thing that reminds you of an important event in your life? What is that one event in your life that tells you that kindness exists, that there are good Samaritans around? What is that one moment that has changed the rest of your life?
Cherish that one thing, and inspire people by sharing your story today.
Published by Alfie Amontos