Richard was holding me by the hips and swinging me slowly through the water as we talked about movies we’d seen and we want to see and we want to have the other see.
Somehow we wandered over to the topic of going blind. Oh, I know, Richard was saying that if light comes into the room when he is sleeping, if he sleeps too late in the morning or if he naps with the shades open, he dreams that he is going blind. He said that the dream is very disturbing – to him it would be far worse to go blind than to lose his hearing or speech, for example.
I reminded Richard that there is a good chance, because of the tyranny of genetics, that I may go blind in my 70s or 80s. Not something I look forward to. It makes me sad and a little scared to think about it.
He smiled and continued to swing me through the water and said: “That’s okay. I’ll put bumpers on all the furniture so that when I chase you you won’t get hurt.
“I’ll still chase you though.”
I laughed; I thought that was the sweetest possible thing he could have said.
“And I’ll put bumpers on the cactus too. You know I want to plant cactus in the yard. But I’ll put bumpers on them.
“And we’ll sit on the porch together and feel the sunset. You’ll still be able to feel it, even if you can’t see it. That will be nice.
“It will be okay. I’ll take care of you. We’ll still be so happy.”
And I just laid back and smiled and let myself be swung around, feeling the warm water curl around me as the late afternoon sun beat down on my skin. Life has become so much better now that I’ve learned to submit to the experience.