When my mother was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration resulting in gradual loss of her vision, I prayed to St. Lucy every night to let her eyesight and life spend their last days in a happy marriage. Please let her live as long as her sight will allow her vision to be of value and not confusion. At 98 her loss of vision began to create the confusion that is easy to label dementia. Blurred vision blurred the sharpness of her mind as well, it seemed.
It hurts me when I think of how the gradual loss of my mother's eyesight began a withdrawal from her surroundings. I became insane with caregivers who didn't put her glasses on when she woke up in the morning. The excuse was the same...."She doesn't know what is going on anyway, so why bother." Is it possible that she is lucid of mind and the loss of her eye sight created a confusion that the lazy call dementia?
|St. Lucy Statue made by Chris Hart Studio|
We are in a society that depends on how quickly we return a text, not the sight of the morning sun coming over the mountains and the sound of the goldfinches chattering on the thistle sock. St. Lucy reminds us to see what's important. My mother's days were spent sitting on the deck in the sunshine, watching the birds at the feeder, talking with loved ones, enjoying the world around her. As her eyesight failed, her vision became more acute.
St. Lucy's story is that she had very beautiful eyes and a General in the army wanted to marry her because of her beauty but because he was not a Christian she refused. The General sent his army to convince her but they had no success for she stood up for what she believed in. From here the story goes one of two ways. Her eyes were gouged out by the army as part of her punishment or the version I prefer, she plucked out her own eyes to make herself undesirable to the General. In either case, she could still see. Her sight was restored, hence she holds the tray with the extra pair of eyeballs.
So like St. Lucy we have two pairs of eyes. One pair makes our daily tasks easier and faster. We can tie shoes and button shirts, comb our hair and eat with a fork more easily because of our sight. The other pair reveals the underlying truths, insights to greater meaning and visions for the future. St. Lucy teaches us to know our truths, stand up for them no matter how hard and to stay focused on the deeper meaning.
Thank you St. Lucy.