I’m putting this on “Mysteries…”, as opposed to “Off-Topic” because for me it is a sad story with metaphysical overtones. It reminds us that the universe is indifferent to our suffering, and cares little about whether we prosper or wither away, or whether we deserve it or not. Bad things happen to wonderful people.
Annie came to work with us a few years ago, recently married, just out of graduate school, a very pretty, sharp and altogether delightful young lady in her mid-twenties. Our shop was her first job, she was friendly, funny and good natured, she immediately fit right in. She was good at her job and we all fell in love with her.
After I retired (four years ago this month), I lost touch with Annie, but my former colleagues occasionally passed on snippets of information on her activities. She quit about two years ago and moved upstate, a few hundred miles away. With both her and her husband working, they settled down to married life and raising a family; Ann was soon pregnant, and they bought a house.
Annie got sick, some complications due to her pregnancy, or perhaps it was some pre-existing condition, the real cause was not clear and it really doesn’t matter. Annie had a runaway blood pressure excursion that came close to killing her, and blinded her. It is not clear if the spike affected her eyes, or the vision centers in her brain, but she cannot see at all. Fortunately, the baby was born healthy and is doing well.
The doctors do not know if her blindness is permanent, or if she can recover partial eyesight, but they are not optimistic. They say even if she recovers partial vision she will never be able to see well enough to operate an automobile. She certainly will never be able to work in her chosen profession; Geographic Information Systems and computer mapping.
Those of us who are getting along in years are very well aware this sort of thing happens. In fact, we know it will eventually happen to all of us, in one way or another. We are all, literally, waiting for the other shoe to drop. But we are resigned to it, ready for it; as ready as anyone can ever be for severe illness, incapacity, and death. We have lived our lives, and they were, for the most part, good lives. I am very well aware how much I have to be thankful for.
But Annie is so young, not yet thirty, with a life and family and home to look forward to. It is so sad, she deserves so much more, It is so sad. It is so unfair. It is so cruel.