The next day, I left the kids with Jeremy and drove to an office building in Arvada, a city in the northern suburbs of Denver. I drove right past the optometrist’s office at first because I couldn’t pick it out among the other concrete and glass boxes engulfed by parking lots, but after some cursing, a jaunt through an adjacent parking lot, and a U-Turn, I pulled Jeremy’s truck into the right lot.
I parked, stepped over a parking curb and into a bed full of red mulch and an evergreen shrub, and then up onto the sidewalk. I’d worn my leather ankle boots because it made me feel like a grown-up – I needed every boost I could get – and the heels tapped as I strode across the concrete. I reached the glass doors and looked up, noticing the numbers: 12191 in a 70s font. I was at the right place.
I held up my phone to snap a photo, thinking Jeremy, being a graphic designer, would get a kick out of the funky shapes of the letters.
I opened the doors, walked down a carpeted hallway, and opened another glass door into a room filled with light. “Liz?” a man at the front desk to my right asked.
“Yes! Sorry I’m a bit late,” I said, walking up to the counter. He has dark hair and a young face.
“No problem,” he said, smiling. “I just have a few forms for you to fill out, if you don’t mind.”
“Not at all,” I said as he handed me a clipboard, and I turned around to see an arm chair just behind me. I sat and scratched the pen to the paper. After a few questions – do I have a family history of eye issues? Am I taking any medications? How did I hear about them? – I stood and handed the papers back to him.
“All done,” I said.
“Great,” he said. “The doctor will be right with you.”
I sat back in the arm chair and noticed that in front of me a television flashed with advertisements: actors smiled and pranced around in black and tortoise-shelled frames with snow-capped mountains behind them. I chuckled.
Just to the left of the screen, the room opened and mirrors lined the wall, rows of frames resting on plastic displays with printed logos differentiating the brands. Chairs stretched to my left, and a small desk in the center of the room separated the waiting room from the mirrors and glasses.
I pulled out my phone from my pocket and opened an app, scrolling through photos posted by friends and strangers to occupy me while I waited – but I did not have to wait long.
“Liz?” I looked up.
A man with blonde hair and a tan stood in a corridor next to the receptionist’s desk, a corridor that led to a few doors that stood open behind him, which hopefully led to some answers. He smiled and said, “I’m Dr. Jordan,” and he held out his hand. I stood and shook it. “Please follow me,” he said.
To be continued…
This post is part of my “Through A Mirror Dimly” series about a health issue I’ve been experiencing. I’m telling this story through the season of Lent as a way to make sense of the ways that my own suffering teaches me about the suffering of Jesus Christ.
I also invite you to engage with your own suffering through this series: how does your personal pain illuminate the suffering of Jesus for you? And what can your pain teach you about the life of faith?
If you have any thoughts to add, comment below!