Tuesday, January 22, 2013

This morning, I spent ten minutes, trying to convince the appointment desk at Kelsey Seybold that I qualify for a visit with an ophthalmologist rather than an optometrist. Their response… Well, you need to see an optometrist too be evaluated for glasses or contacts. My response… Sir, contacts and glasses will not help me. Their response… Well, ophthalmologists see patients with eye diseases that require future visits with an actual eye doctor. My response… Sir, I do have chronic eye diseases. I have Glaucoma and Uveitis. And I’ve had it for 30 years. And my eye diseases have not been nice to me over the years.
Result… I still have to be seen by optometrist first, being that I haven’t been to the eye doctor at Kelsey Seybold in a few years. That appointment will determine if said eye diseases are still present and chronic. While I think that’s a waste of my time, I guess I have to go with the flow.
Last comment from the appointment guy… Be sure to arrive 15 minutes early. And bring your glasses or contact lens to the appointment.
My silent response… Yeah, I’ll make sure I bring my fake eye to the appointment.
My audible response… Thanks…

I'll post an update on the 1st of February to tell you guys about my routine eye exam, that I am sure will not be so routine when the first level eye doc looks into the one eye I have left, only to see a completely damaged optic nerve, a swollen cornea, and scarred tissue. Again, this visit will be a waste of my time and $35 copay.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013


Nearly two decades ago, I dreamt that twenty-year-old Angela came face to face with a variant of herself that was ten years younger. The interaction was awkward, but loving in a strange way. The two Angela’s were obviously the same, but so unfamiliar with each other. Contained in the ten years that stood between the identical, but unidentical pair were experience with loss, disappointment, separation from loved ones, fear, grief, illness, and unimaginable challenges.

The younger version of the two quietly exhibited innocence. Seemingly, she was untouched by hardship and quite capable of trusting. Her skin was dewy and smooth, free of blemishes, and absent of any real signs of aging. Her brown eyes were soft, beautiful, and hopeful. Her wavy, dark brown hair was pulled in two ponytails that dangled on each side of her round face.

The older version had a girlish, yet pensive expression that rested on her face. She still looked young, but she definitely possessed the twists and curves of a blossoming flower. Her skin was clean, clear, but not as new as the young child. Her wavy, dark brown hair was pulled in a unassuming bun on the back of her head. Her brown eyes had seen so much and had not seen enough. She almost appeared to be sad and snagged with covert Sinicism. But when she noticed herself, the younger version of herself, the sadness on her face melted and was replaced with unexpected awareness and sincere compassion.

The younger of the two obviously didn’t know what was waiting for her down the road. However, the mature replica was all too aware of the challenges that were waiting on the young child. Self love inspired the older girl to wish that she could save the young child of what seemed to be their shared destiny. But because it was indeed destiny, there was little the oldest girl could do to ward off the inevitable.

The younger child seemed to be aware that the future version of herself knew something she didn’t know. She seemed to understand that the older girl could not betray their destiny by attempting to reveal a truth that she probably wouldn’t understand or would not even be prepared to cope with. It was clear that the younger girl desired to trust her older self. So, she did.

The two versions of one girl, took each other hands and locked their resolve to love, trust, and add to each other’s worth. Envy, misunderstanding, and deceit would not live between them. Instead, love, understanding, and strength would bind them together. And together to two girls would triumph over what was to come for both of them.

Today, I think of that dream. Both versions of my earlier self are both so far away from me. I wish I could reach back and protect both of them. I wish I could hold and comfort them. I wish I could even be them from time to time. And then, I realized that I am them. While I cannot protect them, I can hold and comfort them. And they can hold and comfort me. All three of us are partners in this journey that has become my life. And each of us adds to the encompassing value of Ms. Angela Braden.

It’s wonderful to be loved, trusted, admired, and comforted by others. It’s even more fantastic to be loved trusted, admired, and comforted by oneself.

All rights belong to the author of this piece: Angela L. Braden