"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.
In my early 20's, I played a lot of tennis.
But there was something missing.
Still missing here with my friends Margaret and Mary.
Never crossed my mind here, in Burlington, in the 1980's.
(Look at how long that car is behind us!)
Not here either, with Adam and Kerry at the swim club where we spent
so many of our summer days.
Still missing - here in Florida on a winter visit to my Mom and Dad.
Not here either - with Annie at Lake George.
There was something missing here too
(and I'm not talking about Adam's teeth!)
We hiked to Maria Von Trapp's chapel in Stowe, and here I
am with Annie again. There is something missing here too
(besides my waistline in my mommy jeans)
Nowhere to be found in this picture with my sister Lori
on the Golden Gate Bridge.
Nor here, helping out at the Civil War Encampment
for Kerry's class.
Still not present at the dog park with Kerry and Annie.
And nowhere in sight when visiting Adam in Rome during
his semester abroad.
And definitely not here on this bright winter day with my dogs.
So what was missing for most of my life???
There they are! But I think they were only a fashion statement
in this picture pushing my doll in her stroller.
The bright sun never bothered me.
I always felt I could see clearer without sunglasses.
I was not someone who used them for fashion.
But when my kids were young, I made sure they had
good quality sunglasses.
I needed to protect their eyes from the sun.
But what exactly was I trying to prevent?
I know that UV rays accumulating over time can greatly
increase your chance of getting cataracts and macular degeneration.
But I didn't know about this.
This is a picture of my eye.
Both of my eyes look like this.
Do you see that little bubble and cluster of blood vessels
on the left of my iris?
That is called a pinguecula.
"A pinguecula is a small, yellowish growth on the conjunctiva near the cornea. It can appear on either side of the cornea, but occurs more often on the nose (nasal) side. The growth may increase in size over many years. It is benign. They are thought to be caused by ultraviolet light and are most common among people who spend a great deal of time outdoors."
This is how I walk the dogs now - with large sunglasses and a hat to protect my eyes from the sun.
I now own 4 pairs of sunglasses and wear them everywhere I go.
I will do everything I can to stop the pinguecula from growing larger.
I DON'T want them to look like this:
So if you are one of those people that don't protect your eyes, especially if you are young, think again.
You can easily prevent things like this (and worse) from happening in the future.