Seeing is Believing in Miracles

Tamara - Newport News, Virginia
Entered on December 3, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: change
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Being able to see is a gift. The blind want nothing more than to see the colors and sights of the world. Those that can see often take it for granted, and don’t realize the gifts they have until they lose them. I believe that the gift of sight is a miracle.

I was born November 13, 1989, in Nassawadox, Virginia, a small town on the state’s Eastern Shore. The doctors proudly introduced me to my mother and father, a healthy 7 pounds 12 ounces and 19 inches long. The doctors then told my parents that I was virtually blind- my right eye was more almond shaped than round, and that my pupil rested at the corner of my eye while my left eye was normally shaped and rested left-centered in the eye socket. While each individual eye worked, together they were useless.

My parents decided that it would be best to have my vision surgically corrected. They found a specialist. They weighed the options and risks, the pros and cons; at the age of four months I had my first surgery to begin to correct my vision. My parents were told that I would be wearing glasses by the time I was four, and would wear them for the rest of my life. Mom and Dad agreed that it was what was best for me, and I continued having surgeries until 1995. I had had 17 surgeries before this, from the time I was four months old. The surgery in 1995 would be number 18, and hopefully the last one.

By this time I was old enough to be scared. I had been wearing glasses for about a year. The kids called me four eyes and other mean names, but I just wanted to be normal. I was ashamed of my eyes, even though Mom said they were beautiful. My parents brought me new glasses and sent me back to school with all the mean kids who would never understand.

Today I am 19 years old and can see the world around me. I wear contacts for corrected vision, and while this is the strongest my prescription has ever been, I feel like I was born with my eyes this way. I can see colors and shapes, read and write; things doctors thought would be impossible for me to do. Those doctors also said that I would never be able to legally drive alone- day or night. These days I enjoy my biweekly road trips, especially the ones during the fall. My sight is so precious to me; the pictures I take and the memories I have will never been seen from my perspective. Those doctors that did all the surgeries taught me that seeing can inspire miracles, and that sometimes sight itself is the biggest and best miracle of all.