Sadly I take things for granted far too often. Among those “things” I can take for granted are sometimes the people in my life and the situations they deal with . I have a hard time expressing emotions, but my ability to write has always helped me with this. I want to take a moment and appreciate someone who deserves it very much.
This past week I have had conjunctivitis, or pink-eye. It is disgusting and has been horrible to deal with. I have pretty much walked around (and into things) with one eye for an entire week. I didn’t ever really stop to think about how difficult everything is when you only have one good eye. Having this infection caused me to literally look at the world in a different way. The saddest part of this entire realization is that one of my best friends in the world only has one eye. I have truly felt ignorant this past week.
Her name is Courtney. Courtney and I met through a mutual friend. I had always had a difficult time trusting women as I have seen first-hand the jealousy and manipulation that so many bring with them. So, when we met I was unsure of our inevitable relationship with one another. Courtney is that typical blonde haired blue-eyed girl. She is curvy in all those ways and places that every woman wants to be. She has an infectious smile that invades her face like a virus. She is full of life and there is something about her that you can’t help but be drawn to. She has a voice and doesn’t hold it back when she wants it to be heard. She is a strong woman and doesn’t put up with anything that she doesn’t feel she needs to. Even though I was stand-offish with her , I still saw so many qualities that we both had in common.
We were around each other several times before I found out. I had never suspected at all. In fact, it was hard to believe when I did find out. Our friend actually told me that when Courtney was in High School she had been diagnosed with cancer that had been in her eye. Eventually the eye was removed completely. She had been fitted with a silicone prosthetic that was matched to look like the exact eye that she had lost. I won’t lie, I had to stare a time or two after I found out to see if I could tell that it was a prosthetic. You really couldn’t tell.
I realized a lot of things about Courtney after that. For one, she wasn’t one of those people who had to have all the attention. We all know the type; they have to bring everything back to themselves as often as possible and if the attention isn’t on them then they have no interest in being involved. Courtney was nothing like this. If she had been, I would have known about her eye the day we had met and she would have been the one telling me. This was not the case. Now, you could think, “Well, maybe she was ashamed and didn’t want anyone to know.” That would be wrong too. This girl didn’t care. At one point after she found out I had been told; we were sitting around with a few other friends when they all started laughing at me. Courtney had apparently put her prosthetic on my pant leg without my realizing it. I jumped when I noticed it and of course my friends laughed even harder. We have a very unique sort of humor to say the least. The point is that she wasn’t ashamed and she wasn’t attention seeking. She was simply living the life that she had been dealt.
I have a soft spot for people who are suffering and have a difficult life, but when people constantly complain and bring their suffering to the surface it is hard to continue to empathize with them. At some point you simply lose interest because it is impossible to constantly give these people what it is that they want. Not only is it impossible but it is also draining.
Courtney never talks about it. I have to constantly remind myself of it, because I honestly forget. I feel like an ass for saying that, but it’s true. She is a normal beautiful woman who never acts any different from anyone else. She doesn’t seek attention even though she deserves it. She doesn’t mope around in a state of utter depression because of the life she has lived. She doesn’t use her disability to avoid life and she doesn’t use it to get more than what she deserves. She does what she does and she doesn’t do it because of or for any reason other than to improve her every day.
Courtney is an amazing person. I can honestly say that I respect her in many ways. She has become one of my best friends over the years. We speak almost daily. She has a loyalty within her that is almost non-existent in today’s society. She would absolutely do anything for anyone that she cares for. She is a wonderful wife and a true friend. I have never had to worry about petty girl behavior from or with her. We can be honest and open with each other and there isn’t much that she doesn’t know about my life. She tells me when I am being a hypocrite or when I need to take a step back and look at things from a different perspective. She listens better than anyone I know. She doesn’t wait to speak she earnestly listens and cares for those in her life. Her heart is immense and it is full of everyone she knows. She feels deeply and is dedicated to being a good friend to anyone who wants one. This woman is strong. She has survived a chaotic environment and her own health issues and she has risen above it all.
I can say that she is an inspiring person. Too often I overlook people around me and too often I forget. I hope to do better and I hope that perhaps if you are reading this that you too can appreciate others just a little more because of it. We all know people who deserve more. We all know people who don’t see themselves the way they should. Perhaps we can all work toward bringing their beauty into the open so that all the world can stand in awe of it.