Tuesday, December 13, 2005

St. Lucy of the Eyeballs

Today is the feast day of Saint Lucy, patron of people dealing with eye issues. As I have mentioned before, my daughter, Lucia, is blind in one eye, due to a folded retina. When people ask if there ever will be any surgery to correct the vision, I have often replied, "I doubt it, but maybe someday she'll be eligible for a cyborg eye." You may think I have a macabre sense of humor, but if you look at various portraits of St. Lucy, you will note that this saint is often shown holding a plate upon which a pair of eyes sit as if they were eggs sunny-side-up. How can a cyborg eye not be far behind?

In other news:
Today, a good friend of mine gave birth to a baby boy named Gabriel James. I was rooting for "Arlo Cash," but no matter; "Gabriel" will do nicely. Mazel tov!


Liz said...

Now you know *I* love a macabre sense of humor. Better to laugh than cry I always say. Though with you as her mother I'm sure she has a very positive outlook on things!

Saints and Spinners said...

Thanks, Nonny! I think that, more than anything, Lucia helps me to have a positive outlook on things.

Douglas Ryan VanBenthuysen said...

I was very happy when Fr. Augustine said at Mass today, "It is the feast of St. Lucy, so today must be the shortest day," showing that, while he has forgotten that her feast is no longer on the solstice, he has remembered his John Donne.

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid, the priest would always come into our classroom on the feast of St. Blaise and hold two candles under each kid's throat and say, "May God at the intercession of St. Blaise protect you from all diseases of the throat." And I always wondered why the throat guy got special treatment. How come on the feast of St. Lucy we didn't get candles waved in front of our eyes with a blessing to "protect you from diseases of the eyeball"?

John said...

I believe on St. Lucy's day you CAN have your eyes blessed, it is just not parish-wide like St. Blaise.

Italians swear to St. Lucy often...Hitmen can often be found swearing on their eyes.

Lone Star Ma said...

Yeah, I remember the St. Blaise blessings (Blaise, incidentally, is the Lone Star Niece's middle name!), too..and another day when they blessed rosaries, and another for pets. No eyeballs, though. Why? No fair. I will say a prayer to St. Lucy...though I will have to make it pretty general because I cannot quite get myself to pray for a cyborg eyeball...I only know of Lucia through your writings but she seems so...enchanting...cultured...well bred? I love my children dearly but they are wild lttle hooligans...none so civilized. Yay, Lucia! I guess one Sant's Day isn't usually connected to one's internet moniker, but enjoy this Saint's Day anyway!

Douglas Ryan VanBenthuysen said...

The first Mass I ever attended (I was 20) was the feast of St. Blaise. I assumed that sort of thing happened at every Mass. I wish it did.

Saints and Spinners said...

Doug, I have not remembered my John Donne, but if I were to be truthful (which I strive to be, even when spinning tall tales), I didn't study enough Donne to forget a great deal. I've got the rest of my life to fill in those gaps. In the meantime, for everyone else, here is the poem to which Doug refers: A Nocturnal Upon St. Lucy's Day, Being the Shortest Day.

Saints and Spinners said...

Lone Star Ma,
My mother told me today of an 18 month old child who had cancer in one eye, and subsequently had that eye removed. Now, the doctors have discovered a little bit of cancer behind the other eye, and plan to operate. They are optimistic that they can save the vision in the remaining eye. My mom said, "It doesn't make me feel lucky in comparison, but it does make me feel grateful for all we have with Lucia." You don't have to say a prayer for a cyborg eye-- it really is just my glib response to fend off conversations that sometimes go like this:

Someone else: What's wrong with your daughter's eye?

Me: Lucia's left eye has a folded retina. We think she has light perception, but she is legally blind in that eye. What she has is called posterior PHPV.

Someone else: Why did that happen?

Me: It happened sometime during the first trimester. No one knows why it happened.

Someone else: Well, if it were me, I'd want to find out as much as I could.

Me: Yes.

Someone else: I'm sure they'll be able to operate on the eye in a few years.

Me: Based on what we know already and what we project our knowledge will be in 20 years, it's highly unlikely. [Against my better judgement, this follows with an explaination of folded versus detached retinas, and how the brain shuts down the pathways that tell the eye to see, etc.)

Someone else: Oh, I'm sure there will be an operation for your daughter.

Me: Not unless they invent a cyborg eye! (I smile firmly to acknowledge the end of the conversation and my foolhardiness in getting sucked in.)


Of course, I compressed a number of comments into one story, and really, most people are quite sensible about the whole thing. Sometimes it's a bit frustrating to explain things to people who only hear what they want to hear. I am getting better about sensing when that is going on, but sometimes I ramble on...


Lone Star Ma said...

Sounds to me like you handle it very well. I can't compare my experiences, of course, but I felt pretty uncomfortable when people would ask about the LSB, like how old was she now, and I'd tell them and they'd say how she must be running everywhere and I'd feel duty-bound to say: actually, no. not walking yet...now that she does, I have pretty much gotten over my worries about how small she is and how late she walked (not about her her scary temperament, but I feel I can have some sort of impact on that at least), but it was weird, then. I think I will keep praying to St. Lucy, though. For that other baby, too. Sounds like that one really needs a cyborg eye. I never thought about St. Lucy before, but I know that I always will, now.