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Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Tender Mercy Comes Back Around

Years ago, shortly after we'd moved back to the "big city," while driving to the beach with her grandparents, #1 was quizzed as to what was outside her car window. When we arrived, her grandmother asked me if I'd had #1's eyes checked. During the game, when seeing cows, #1 had reported that they were horses.

I took her to the doctor shortly thereafter, and sure enough, #1 needed glasses. We got them for her, but it wasn't even six months later when a student-teacher working in her classroom mentioned the fact that she could see #1 struggling to see the overhead and that #1 would walk up to it after lessons to see what was there and write things down.

Our insurance, at that time, only covered eye appointments every two years, so we were a bit stumped as to what to do. If her eyes were going to change that quickly, we were going to have to fork over quite a bit of our budget to take care of this need. It was going to add up pretty darned quickly.

Not even a week later, the Warden had had Back-to-School night at the elementary school where he was working. He came home that evening with a flyer from a nearby university. They were doing a study on children who wear glasses and were looking for children just #1's age.

image: focusonbookarts.org
We contacted the university, and although #1 was on the older end of the desired age scale, they accepted her into the study. We had to go out to the university and have her eyes tested every six months, but they told us that each time she came, if her eyes had changed, they would give her new glasses. The exam and the glasses would be free just for being part of the study.

This was, as you can imagine, a huge tender mercy for us.

In this study, #1 could either be a contact or glasses wearer for the duration of the study, I'm trying to recall, but I think it was four years, or she could be a glasses wearer. 

The day she went in to be randomly chosen for a group, she hoped and hoped that she'd be chosen as part of the contacts group. Things did not go her way. She was disappointedly placed in the glasses group, so as part of that group, she had to commit to wear glasses every day for the duration of the study, which she did faithfully.

As the years passed, every six months, her eyes had changed just enough to warrant a new pair of glasses. Seriously, what a blessing this was to our family. She and I had fun going in and picking out the new frames. That part she liked, but as she got older, she got a bit tired of wearing glasses, especially as her friends started wearing contacts. She adapted to it and did just fine and made it to the end.

When the study was finally over, she was promised contacts by the university as a gift of appreciation for participating, and they delivered. For a few years after, they provided her with free contacts. She loved them and wore them everyday. She wasn't afraid to wear her glasses, which she did from time to time, but she, I'm pretty sure, was making up for lost time.

Last evening, as we read over the booklet that comes with a mission call, we read that contacts were not preferred because of the instance of eye infections, etc. #1 quickly interjected: "Well then, I won't take them with me. I'll just wear my glasses."

Last semester at college, #1 had an eye infection. She now knows what those are all about and feels just great about wearing her glasses for 18 months. We're pretty sure eye doctors in the Philippines might not be that abundant and getting what she needs to provide the upkeep for contacts, might be next to impossible. She'd have to take it all with her from the start, and we all know how fun it is to carry extra weight, and liquid at that, onto an airplane. No, thank you very much.

image: spoonflower.com
So, just like old times, we'll go in and choose a new pair of frames. We set up an appointment online, and they're able to get her in tomorrow. She's asked me to go with her. It really will be just like old times.

I guess that random selection into the glasses group paid off in tender mercies in more ways than one. Funny what prepares you for your future.

1 comment:

Alyson said...

I am totally with her! I wore my hideously ugly glasses for 99% of my mission, just to not have to bother with contacts, and that was in a much different place. Great choice on her part, and I'm sure her frames will be so darn much cuter than mine were!

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