Yesterday I spent a wonderful day with two of my oldest and dearest friends. We have known each other for 30 years and been through illness and loss and vacations and more than anything, laughs, together. The kind that make your whole body hurt.
We spent the day shopping in a charming, historic village filled with interesting shops. The path inside the village is brick and hilly and can be a challenge for even the fully-sighted. For someone like me, with compromised sight, it can be dangerous and exhausting as every step is a mystery.
My two friends navigated me around like pros and quickly and organically devised a set of shorthand cues to let me know what was ahead. They told me in stern tones to stop apologizing for taking time to go down steps and told me at lunch how well they think I get around.
They encouraged me when I needed it without me having to ask. They alerted me to danger ahead. They laughed with me when I couldn’t identify the pickle on my plate (it was huge). They offered their hands when the path got rocky. They read things to me when I couldn’t read them myself. And through it all, they treated me like me.
What they did for me yesterday is what they have done for me for the last 30 years. I would give just about anything to have my sight restored, but I wouldn’t give up that.
As for the pickle, once I knew what it was, it never had a chance.