HE TOOK AWAY HER SIGHT SO I COULD SEE
Every married couple goes through their ups and downs and marrying at a young age people thought we would not last. However, our union was blessed by God. He saw fit to put two polar opposites together and make it work. Me, the city boy from rough and tough Gary, Indiana and her, the country girl from rural Ozark, Alabama. We were nothing alike but a perfect match made in heaven. I grew up in the church but had swayed away from it and had trouble with my convictions and beliefs but did not feel it was a problem. God continued to favor me through my life and bless me and at some point I started feeling I was doing it all myself. I was becoming a success because of my own efforts and my own dogged determination. I even motivated others to be as successful as I was becoming and to emulate my techniques for studying and numerous other things. I had all but forgotten about God. My wife had always been religious. She got on her knees and said her prayers at night and truly felt a presence and a relationship with God at all times. She accepted my nonchalant attitude toward religion and prayed for me constantly. She was salt, I was pepper. She was sugar, I was spice. Everything about this woman was sweet and down to earth wholesomeness. We were both in college for nursing about 9 years into our marriage. I sent her to school first so I was a year behind her. We were accomplishing this feat with no problems. Raising our kids while working and going to school…it was a breeze. We were the dynamic duo and nothing could stop us. Then it happened.
One day she awakened to fluttery sensations in her chest. We went to the doctor’s office and he was so worried he admitted her directly from the office. We were not nurses yet, there was no Google to research what was going on but we were not afraid. We took it in stride and picked the kids up from daycare and camped out in the hospital room for the night. The sun peaked through the smallest of cracks in the window blinds and I heard my wife’s voice and stretched to take on another day of hard work. The blank look on her face was not immediately evident as she asked if I could turn some lights on. Not really looking at her I stretched some more and stepped over a couple of slumbering kids and opened the blinds fully and I turned and was shocked at how big my wife’s pupils were. I waved my hand in front of her face not wanting to startle or alarm her and she whispered, did you turn them on? I stuttered, yeah I opened the blinds and it’s broad daylight babe. With calmness akin to a bomb maker attaching the final wire she whispered I don’t think I can see. I screamed out loud….in my head but tried to maintain the calmness that she displayed. If it were me, they would have been putting me in a rubber room.
The next couple of months saw us traveling up and down the state of Alabama to this specialist and that specialist having a multitude of painful and invasive tests, which even included psychological testing. Not one doctor could tell us what was going on. They even removed the braces that we were paying thousands of dollars for so that they could get better scans. Finally in the most renowned hospital in the state we were to see the top doctors. It was here that WE were going to solve this problem.
A rheumatologist said he “thought he saw something on a scan and wanted to do a brain biopsy. It was at this time that something clicked for me personally. This would be our last night in the hospital because we decided that we would leave against medical advice. Just like all ideas usually pop into my head, I realized that this ability was a gift from God. It never was me. All of my intelligence, all of the ideas and now the song that popped into my head was delivered to me by the almighty and it was only now that I realized that HE TOOK AWAY HER SIGHT SO “I” COULD SEE. We left the next morning and went home and prayed and cried and prepared for this life that was before us. My adoring wife would never look upon my face again. She would have to hold to the memories and we would create new ones.
I started reading to her and I purchased books on tape. She loved for me to read because I would always get into character and the Bill Cosby voice she loved the most. We never got depressed. We accepted what God had planned for us and felt it was his will. Then one day it happened again. I was reading a funny story and using the Bill Cosby voice and my wife’s head jerked backwards and it did this several times. She later described it as very brightly colored lights one at a time shooting at her face. She said they looked like fingers.
My wife’s eye sight was restored directly by the hand of God. Miracles only happen in the bible as far as I knew. Water got turned to wine, a small amount of bread and fish fed a multitude, and Lazarus was raised from the grave. But on that day, God gave us a testimony. He is real and that message stated by him taking away my wife’s sight so that we all could see his glory when he restored her sight when no doctor could do it.
Shannon went on to graduate valedictorian from nursing school a year after I finished and now years in, we know that it is not our individual effort but God who makes all these things happen for us and we can provide a direct testimony to it. It is these motivating factors that drive me to create for the woman who I thought would never look upon my face again and can now read these words and all else that I create for her. “tarnished,” my debut novel is dedicated to Shannon Eureka Stewart. 24 years my wife, soul mate for life.
About Willie Stewart, RN
Find out more about the new dynamic novel by this dynamic new author by visiting the book’s blog and in a unique twist, engage with the book’s lead character Dale via social media networks as DaleTarnished or Daletarnishednovel.