Once a year, when I got to my Optometrist, Dr. Sumner, I come face to face with my horrendous childhood. Our laughing visit always takes a downward turn when he puts the drops in and leaves the room. It's time to dilate my eyes so he can look at my retina.
You see, the eyes record of every violent, abusive act. Like a stamp, every violent act imprints itself on the retina.
While I wait for my eyes to 'dilate really wide,' so he can see the folds, tears, holes and damage from my early life, I have to face myself and my past. When Dr. Sumner returns, I'm usually very sad. I sniffle, wipe a few tears while he gets ready to look at my retina.
In the past, I've seen doctors who will look in my eyes and say, "What the hell happened to you?"
There I am, blinded, with my big dark eyes dilated, trying to explain my early life - schizophrenic mother, depressed father, alcoholic grandfather, and... and...
Dr. Sumner is much kinder than that. He usually smiles then says, "Let's take a look."
We go through the various lens and lights. He tells me what he's doing. Then usually ends with:
"Everything's still settled. That's good. We'll check again next year."
You never know when you need it. And sometimes, the kindest thing is a good hearted man who doesn't say the obvious.
If you get a chance, please consider donating to provide school supplies for Iraqi kids. They deserve a chance. We can give it for less than the cost of a pizza.
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