Saturday, November 1, 2014

Book Review: Now I See You

I have both a friend who is losing her sight and a brother-in-law who is dealing with an endless nightmare related to a detached retina. My friend is an artist. She makes mosaics and when I think of her, I cannot help but wonder how terrifying it must be to lose the gift of vision. My eyes are not what they once were. I have to wear glasses and will eventually be fitted with bifocals, no doubt, but I don't live under the sentence of significant vision loss. I can only imagine how terrifying that must be.

Thus, I put myself in another's shoes by opening this book, Now I See You, a memoir by Nicole C. Kear, who is in the process of losing her sight while still in her thirties. At the tender age of nineteen, she was informed of a diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa, an untreatable condition which promises to render her blind in a little over a decade. How devastating to receive such dire news at such a young age. In her tale, she explains how she fought acceptance of the disease tooth and nail. She is basically big into denial and refuses to admit that anything is amiss, choosing instead to live life with gusto.

This story was well-written and carried me deep into a landscape I've never known. If I think about it, though, I doubt I would have responded in the same way. I'm guessing that I would have wanted other people to know what was going on with me, both for their support and for their understanding when things would seem amiss. Then again, I've never been in those shoes, so I cannot say with certainty that I would take the road of confession over the road of denial. Even if I couldn't relate to the desire to keep others in the dark (ha), I could certainly relate to the longings of human nature for the opportunities to see her children and to achieve her dreams. It was an eye-opening read and affirmed the truths that obstacles can be overcome and that life is precious despite the set-backs we face.

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