I can see!

23 Mar

On 17 August 2021, I posted:

I got better lighting! I can see what I’m doing!

This is the beginning of a washing line with a bright plastic clothes peg. After the big pink cosmos flower this feels so small and delicate. And fun.

You have two other bits of embroidery in your bonus pics today… the first is some embroidery I did when I was about 12 years old (when my eyesight was considerably better) for my grandmother who I was named after. It’s the corner of a wee cotton hankie… one of around 100 hankies I found in mum’s chest of drawers. The 2nd is a monogrammed towel, which must have been a wedding present for my grandparents, making it over 100 years old.

The gift of sight is a thing you don’t appreciate until it starts diminishing.

When we were young, one of the closest of our aged relatives was our Uncle Walter. And he was blind. But I never quite understood the impact of him losing his sight because he seemed to manage to get about ok, and was a much-loved uncle who told the best stories and was the life and soul of any room he was in.

Though there was the fabled story of when he had walked through the plate glass door from the kitchen to the wash house, without opening the door. He hadn’t seen that it was shut. And glass. And he had just kept walking. If he had stopped on impact, it was believed a shard of glass might have come down on the back of his neck and killed him. Hurrah for keeping going when things go wrong!

I realise I don’t know why he was blind, what had happened to his sight? In my childlike way, I just assumed it was something that happened to some old people so I never enquired.

Mum’s eyes have been a trouble to her for years. Some 20 or 30 years ago she suffered from Bell’s Palsy, where one side of the face is weakened, apparently paralysed. Her mouth drooped on that side, and she was unable to close her eye. Mum was given some drugs, and eyedrops and lubricants, and a patch to put over her eye. I think it was taped up at night for a wee while too. Then the doctors took the decision to sew her eyelid shut until the palsy disappeared, to protect the eye.

When they cut her eyelid open again, they cut in just the wrong place – and forever more Mum’s eyelashes on her right eye grew inwards, scratching her eyeball, instead of outwards, protecting it. She would attend the eye clinic a the hospital in Dumfries every 6 weeks for what she called her ‘eye torture’.

Having escorted Mum to the eye clinic at hospital on many occasions, I appreciate having my eyesight, and also not having scratchy painful eyeballs. Poor Mum, she never ever complained about it, but it must have been horrid.


You can read more about my relationship with Mum and her dementia starting here, with Taking Smock of the Situation, an embroidery project I started after I realised Mum might have dementia. There I was, embroidering her old fisherman’s smock with symbols relating to her life; while her memories were slipping away, like me at a party I don’t want to be at.

3 Responses to “I can see!”

  1. Neil March 23, 2023 at 1:27 pm #

    Like so many of your posts, you write clearly about day to day challenges that many people will endure but are seldom considered in our media or arts.

    I had a great aunt who died when she was 90. For the last 20 years of her life her sight got progressively worse. Until around 5 years before she died it had gone completely. When I think about her and compare her to her sister (my grandmother) who lost her hearing. I think losing your sight must be a lot more isolating.


    • shewolfinthevalley April 3, 2023 at 5:07 pm #

      And thank you for your kind comments… I always look forward to reading your thoughts on what I write



  1. Taking Smock of the Situation | Shewolfinthevalley - April 4, 2023

    […] I can see […]


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