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For the Rest of My Life

With eyes bloodshot from crying, Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, Photoshops a rose over her rosy veined face.The past few years, I cried so much over the death of my daughter, I thought I was scouring my eyes bloodshot. But when my eyes were still red and itchy after a two-week period without tears, I went to see an eye doctor.

“Ocular rosacea,” he said. And I immediately blasted him with questions. “No, it’s not cancer,” he assured me. “No, you won’t lose your eyesight.”

Rosacea was not unfamiliar to me. I’d had the rosy veined cheeks for years, inherited from my father. It gave me a healthy glow and I loved the sound of the name Rose Aysha, until I learned how it was really spelled. I had no idea one could get rosacea in the eyes. Believing I’d wrecked my eyes entirely by grieving, I soon learned that emotional stress, as well as wine, chocolate, spicy foods, sun, wind, exercise, and all the things that give me joy contribute to this condition.

We can control the symptoms,” the doctor said, “but this will be with you for the rest of your life.” That blew the whites out of my eyeballs completely. My daylight was shattered as if a death sentence had been delivered.

Later, when I realized I was going to survive fairly unscathed, I thought to myself, it’s a stinking shame we can’t choose what or who gets to stay with us for life.


Who or what can you say will be with you for the rest of your life? What joy-busters will follow you forever?

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