A simple sticker, but when I saw it, the memories came rushing back. I had unearthed from the loft (US: attic) a bunch of mailing envelopes to send out my book in, which CutiePyeGirl found intriguing. In the midst of them she found this little sticker and presented it to me with a flourish. When I saw it, there in my mind’s eye was PyelotBoy, three and four years old, walking out of the Royal Free Hospital, having survived another eye appointment. Our consultant was amazing, but the drops hurt him, and my heart always tugged at those meetings about his eyes.
PyelotBoy has faced some physical challenges, including his eyesight. One of my dear friends – who herself had a squint (US: lazy eye) and two surgeries in her childhood to correct it – reluctantly approached me when PyelotBoy was about two years old, asking when we were going to get his squint looked at. She didn’t want to interfere, but she knew more than we did that it needed attending to. I had noticed it, of course, but just thought it was an eye that sometimes turned in, an affliction that appears in both my maternal and paternal families. I’m so grateful for her gentle question, however, as we got an appointment right away and found out that his squint very much needed attending to. The weak eye, if not strengthened, would lose its ability to see. (Spiritual application alert!) He would also eventually need surgery to move the muscles around in both eyes to straighten them out and have them working right.
So much for us as new parents to take in during those appointments. Our fantastic consultant we got originally through what was then called St Luke’s Hospital for the Clergy, an organization that provides healthcare for clergy and their families to which medical people (often Christians) donate their services. We didn’t need to be pushy advocates for PyelotBoy because Miss Davey went out of her way to give him the best treatment available. (And I learned throughout the years why she’s called “Miss” Davey – for me as an American I thought it odd, and would rather call her Dr Davey. But the Miss signifies that she’s a surgeon, so is actually a higher designation than Dr. Interesting!)
We had years of appointments and years of those stickers. Years of PyelotBoy reading first the charts of pictures of familiar objects (and yes, a teapot featured) and then letters when he had learned them. Years of PyelotBoy wearing a patch over his strong eye for hours in order to strengthen the weak eye. The enduring for him and us of his eye surgery, which Miss Davey performed so well – she even gave me a hug in the operating theatre after the anaethitist put him to sleep, for I promptly burst into tears at the sight.
So when I saw that sticker, so many memories came flooding back and I felt tender and grateful. Sad that PyelotBoy had to endure those trials, but proud of him for the way he met them, one by one, with courage. Like his eye, which was strengthened over the years, he’s stronger and more resilient in character.
How have you been strengthened through trials?
Note: Posted with PyelotBoy’s permission.