We’ll See

Some verbal expressions, I’m sure, are universal. Wherever you go in the world, I’m convinced, in whatever language the people there speak, there’ll be words that succinctly translate to, for example, “little by little”: In my own travel experience, this expression in French is “petit a petit”; in Spanish, “poco a poco”; and in Bambara, the language of most of Mali, West Africa, “doni-doni.”

Another example is the expression in English, “we’ll see.” In French it’s “on va voir” and in Spanish it’s “vamos a ver.” Growing up in suburban New Jersey, I knew that when my mother said “we’ll see” – which she said frequently in response to a childish question about the future — it meant, “maybe, but, then again, maybe not; don’t get your hopes up.”

Deep down, most of us small, frail humans clomping along on this dizzying planet yearn to know what the future for us holds. (Astrologers understand this yearning.) We long to look into a crystal ball and see that future ahead of its time. This, it seems to me, is just human nature. So wise ones in every culture have coined simple little phrases encouraging a go-slow approach, like “Time will tell,” “Little by little,” “We shall see…”

In my own most recent experience, what I wanted to see in that crystal ball was whether or not I would soon see better.

To back up: My eyesight, always a weak link in my life, was beginning to fail rapidly, especially after cataract surgery in New Mexico in the summer of 2012. I chalked this deterioration up to age. I was terrified of going through another costly surgery that might only make things worse. I tried (not altogether successfully) to be stoical and relinquish gracefully some of the things I loved to do, such as sew my own clothes, drive my own car, and edit other people’s manuscripts as part of my livelihood, because my eyes would no longer let me.

I waited until I’d settled here in Mexico last month to work up the courage to take positive action against my admitted passivity. On the recommendation of several friends here, I saw a young woman eye doctor at a highly regarded clinic in the sprawling city of Queretaro, capital of the nearby state of Queretaro, and believed to be one of the fastest growing cities in the northern hemisphere. After my exam, she told me that in a small percentage of cataract cases, the patient’s eyes grow (what I understood to be) errant cells that slowly creep over the new, plastic lenses and blur the person’s vision. I was one of that small percentage of people.

She recommended laser surgery. “Quick and painless,” she said; and, at 4,000 pesos altogether, for both eyes (a total of $235.29 U.S., at today’s exchange rate), blessedly affordable for me.

We scheduled the surgery for January 14, after her family’s Christmas holiday in Acapulco, which gave me time to worry — one of the things I do best. I ached to know the future of my post-laser-surgery eyesight. I berated myself for my wobbly faith. I repeated to myself, “We’ll see, we’ll see…”

The "Impressionist" view from my bedroom window early one morning last month
The “Impressionist” view from my bedroom window early one morning last month

It could be that the days since that surgery last Thursday have been particularly beautiful here in San Miguel de Allende, more brilliant and vivid and clear than I’ve ever seen. Or it could be that my eyesight is now suddenly brilliant and vivid and clear. (Or both!) I find I’m no longer looking through gauze. I’m no longer living inside of an Impressionist painting.

The sight of the pointy, pink Parroquia church’s spires clearly etched against the dazzlingly clear azure blue sky now stops me in my tracks. I want to get all weepy and sentimental and sing words from the old hymn, “Amazing Grace”: “I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see!” Well, I wasn’t totally lost or completely blind, but I certainly feared these worsts.

I ask myself what lesson I might draw from this experience, but nothing new or profound comes to me. I’ve always known there’s no crystal ball. There’s only those old standbys faith and hope and, today especially, unspeakable thankfulness that I can now see clearly.

33 thoughts on “We’ll See”

  1. Que suerte, amiga mia! Ahora, la belleza del mundo es tuya otra vez. Thank goodness you had the excellent fortune to have met that surgeon. Yay!

  2. I’m so happy for you, Bonnie. The world wants to share all its light with you and you are ready to receive it again!

  3. So happy to hear this. I know how much you struggled with your vision. Much love & beautiful images to you my friend from now on!Lorraine

  4. Oh! Bonnie—what wonderful news! No one will appreciate clear vision more than you. Thank goodness you got up the courage to consult the surgeon!

  5. So glad everything worked out for you. I didn’t know you were having problems. You sound like me when you spoke of being anxious and nervous. I am so like that. Could it be because we are going through these experiences alone?
    I am out in Montana visiting my son and daughter-in-law and meeting my new granddaughter, Clara. A definite sight for my eyes!
    I’m sure you are treasuring the sights in your new world!
    Love, Pam

    1. Thank you, Pam. Yes, I think there is that aloneness factor; but I have to think that people who are in old, tired, loveless relationships must feel even more alone. I hope you have a wonderful time in Montana with your son and daughter-in-law and new baby granddaughter. As they say here, “Feliz Ano Nuevo,” Happy New Year!

  6. I feel that you’ll be able to see clear as a bell, at least the bell that will be coming to SMA. Mel and I just arrived in San Carlos en route to San Pancho. Mel is heading back on Feb. 7th but I am sticking around until April. I hope to get to SMA.

  7. So happy to hear your laser treatment went well. Can just imagine what it would have cost in the US. Have a wonderful, healthy year ahead. Sending love your way, Arti

  8. So happy to hear you can see again, Bonnie! My stepdad had cataract surgery and has the same problem–he cannot get any answers and has stopped driving. I cannot wait to tell him that he is not alone in this and that your vision was restored. Maybe we will road trip to Mexico?! So happy for you and grateful to you for sharing this!

    1. Whitney dear — I’m overjoyed that my story might help your stepdad find a solution to his post-cataract-surgery difficulties too. In case you’re serious about that road trip to MX, you can look into the clinic I went to at: http://www.govision.mx. My eye doctor/surgeon is Chantal Favier. (She’s wonderful.) The address is Av. Constituyentes, Queretaro, Qto, MX. Best wishes, BB xx

      1. Thanks Bonnie ! His surgeon was very dismissive of his claims that his vision was worse. I love impressionist paintings but I wouldn’t want to live in one 🙂

        1. Oh, yes, Whitney, I so understand! I felt that my eye doctors in NM were dismissive of my complaints after they did my cataract surgery as well, which is why I didn’t want to go back again. I felt as though they simply didn’t care.

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