EDITORIAL – I can vividly remember the day I went blind in my left eye like it was yesterday, even though it’s going on 30 years ago now. It happened early one Saturday morning, just a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, one of my favorite times of the year.
Autumn was in the air; it was cool, but not quite cold, and I was looking forward to going home for the holidays. I was standing outside, and bent over to pick up a pebble. When I stood up, something strange happened.
The vision in my left eye was now blurry and I could see dozens of black, wavy lines floating all over the place as I looked out. This set into motion a three-week hospital stay, with me being poked, prodded, and tested until I thought I would break.
Then the diagnosis: It was a condition called Von Hippel Lindau (VHL) syndrome. The eye was only the first of many things to come. Later, I’d have that eye removed, along with many other surgeries.
So, why am I telling you all of this? That is a fair question. It is certainly not to get you to feel sorry for me. I accepted what I have a long time ago. And there are many who have it much worse off in life than I do. I know that. So, why then?
It’s this. My hope is that I can inspire you to begin looking for the good in bad situations. If I’ve learned anything from my trials and tribulations, it’s that. There’s always something good in any bad. Although, sometimes, you have to look hard to find it.
That’s certainly been the case for me. Although I wouldn’t have asked for it, this condition has made me who I am today. I see things in ways I never saw them before, and have empathy for others I never would have had without going through this.
That is not to say I didn’t go through a dark period. For years, I was angry that this had happened to me. I pushed people out of my life and suffered more than I needed to. But I have learned my lesson, and hope to spare you from the same.
My suggestion is that you get into the habit of looking for the good when something goes wrong. Ask the question, “What’s good about it?” even when things seem at their worst. Then be open for the answers that eventually will come your way.
Sometimes they’re fast; sometimes they are much slower than you’d hoped. But, if you hold on, and are willing to look for them, the answers to the question, “What’s good about it?” will come. Sometimes when you least expect it.