“My eyes say ‘quit’ so…

Jan 8, 2023 | 0 comments

My grandmother, Helen Richardson at 18– the year before she married Harry Espy in 1897

Do you think if we grew old enough and had enough infirmities, we could finally empathize fully with those who have gone before us?

I’ve been thinking about my grandmother’s lifelong trouble with her eyes — suddenly made so painfully apparent to me as I wait for my glasses to be ready.  My distance vision is fine.  It’s reading, writing, and close work that’s the problem.  And just when I’m beginning to cull over old notes and research the moldering documents, too!

Helen Richardson Espy, 1930 — “Granny at 54”

But I, at least can see the end of this tunnel.  My beloved granny could not.  She was married in 1897 at age 19 and several of her love letters to my grandfather lament, “My eyes say ‘quit’ so I will continue tomorrow…”  And when I think that almost all communication — even if it was just a few blocks away — was of the written variety!  Oh my!

Telephones were installed in many homes shortly after Bell’s 1876 invention, but conversations often were enjoyed by all those on the party line.  Whispering sweet nothings definitely had to be done up close and personal.

Helen Richardson Espy, 1947 – “Granny at 69”

So… while I was greatly relieved that my distance vision is fine without any corrections, I didn’t really expect to be so encumbered by my nearsightedness.  And, since I am chomping at the bit to get going on this new book, I try to keep it all in perspective as well as possible.  After all, three weeks hardly compares with the lifetime of poor vision that my grandmother — and so many others — have endured.

Another reason to count my blessings!  And try to develop that hardest of all character traits (for me) — patience!


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