Happy Father’s Day, guys. And to our lady readers who wait so anxiously every year for my darlin’ Edna’s Father’s Day column, due to circumstances beyond her control, it has been temporarily (we hope) been put on hold.
After more than two years of guiding me through some medical issues that came with getting older (but not wiser), my loving wife, nurse, home care specialist and best friend was stricken with the loss of her eyesight.
It started Dec. 29, 2018 with problems with her left eye. Thinking it would pass, life went on.
One night, I came home from a Meriden Rod & Gun Club meeting to find Edna in bed. When I asked her if she was alright she replied, “Mike, I can’t see. I’m blind in both eyes!”
It was like a knife to my heart. My darlin’ Edna, the strong one in our family, it couldn’t be! But it was.
An emergency call was made to her eye doctor and we went to his office in the middle of the night. He could not find the exact reason for the vision loss, but said it could have been from the stress of taking care of me.
After that, it was a number of trips to different specialists. Nothing could pin-point what caused the loss of her eyesight. Other than that, she was in perfect health as far as they could tell. They all said that it “might” come back with time.
Because it came on so quick, we figured Edna would regain her vison just as rapidly. Sorry to say, that was not the case. She lost complete use of her computer, which is why none of her Facebook posts have been seen this year.
After 53 years of being married to this wonderful person, I do know how strong-willed she is. When the going gets tough, Edna gets going. Believe me, I know this to be true.
Knowing Edna, it always seemed to me that there was nothing she could not do. The tough things in life she did right away. The impossible things took a bit longer, but they were accomplished. Edna never failed to amaze me with the tenacity she displayed when she took on a project.
I am sure that many of those who worked with her on various projects would agree with me. Yet she is one of the kindest, most giving and caring human beings I have ever known. Yes, I might be a bit prejudiced, but what do you expect after 53 years of wedded bliss?
Even with her loss of vision she continues to amaze me. She moves about our home like she has perfect vision, yet I know better.
We also go to the Meriden Dog Park on an almost daily basis to take our dog Charlie for a run. If you did not know she had limited vision, you would not be able to tell.
Even when I try to help her with something she might undertake, she gives me hell because she wants to do it herself.
Sometimes when I watch her I wonder, “Why her? Why did something like this happen to such a kind and compassionate person?”
Of course, there are no real answers, even in the medical world. Right now, it is just a wait-and-see experience that my darlin’ Edna is handling it much better than me.
The months progressed and we went on trying to make as much normalcy out of our lives as possible. Luckily, I started to mend a bit and was able to keep things going, but nowhere as good as Edna does.
And then my fellow Meriden Lions came on the scene. It seems like they are always there when someone is in need. Ed Haberli stopped at our home and said that there was a Lions Club Low Vision Center in the Easter Seals Building at 158 State St. in Meriden.
Edna and I went there for the grand opening and came away very impressed with the whole Easter Seal operation, but even more so with the Lions Clubs Low Vision Center.
The Low Vision Center is run by a young lady by the name of Raechaell Corbett and she made me believe in miracles. Corbett put Edna through some vision tests and she has been going there on a weekly basis for a while and shows improvement during every visit.
Even though I am a member of the Meriden Lions Club, I never, ever realized what an impact they have on people with low vision and even blindness.
Not only does the Easter Seals help with low vision, the organization has a program for the hearing impaired as well as a center for those who need physical therapy. I would not even have known about it if not for the Meriden Lions Club.
Thanks to Easter Seals and Corbett, Edna has regained some of her eyesight and continues to amaze me with her progress.
They say that growing old isn’t for sissies, and after what I have seen my darlin’ Edna go through, I am a firm believer in that.
See ya’ and God Bless America and watch over our troops wherever they may be. And, if you could, throw a blessing on The Meriden Lions Club and the group of caring folks at the Easter Seals office.