I just got back from one of the most important days in any life: my sons wedding day. Aaron married Ashley in a beautiful, touching ceremony on a hot day in North Carolina. They were surrounded by friends, family, photographers and gatoring* frat brothers. What a great day!

So many days are memorable, but we often miss them. Many days can easily blur together as some kid comes in with a bump on his eye, a lady shows up to find out how to get hairspray off her new glasses, an older fellow says he cant see to hunt, a teenager wants purple contact lenses, or a new patient declares I dont care what they costorder em! Same old stuff, different day. (OK, except for that last one, which has never happened in the history of optometry.)

Of course, we do have some excitement along the way. Mrs. Nicely brings by a piece of her famous pecan pie. Little Billy comes in, and he is suddenly taller than you. Sweet Suzie comes in, and she is also taller than you. OK, all your patients are suddenly taller than you. Whats wrong with you anyway? The special day ends as you give a first-time examination to that new baby whose mom was a baby when you gave her a first-time examination.

Of course, some memorable days arent fun. You find that your longtime patient has blurred vision because his cancer has metastasized. You find soft drusen in that 40-year-old whose mom went blind due to AMD. That 12-year-old slept in her contacts for three months and developed a painful ulcer, and she leaves for a school trip to Australia this afternoon. Gday, mate!

My sons wedding reminded me that every day is a miracle of some sort. There are moments in every day that are just perfect. I strongly recommend you start looking for them, doctor.

Every time I got emotional this weekend, and I was near tears the whole time, I said to myself, STAY IN THE MOMENT. I had to quit thinking of the whole movie and just watch each tiny frame as it flashed by me. Then, watch the next one. A series of glowing moments not the end of something over not the beginning of something ahead. Just now. Now. Now. Now.

If you do not stay in the moment, you will be stupid. Often. I have been preoccupied this last week. Perhaps thats why I handed a new patient an occluder paddle and instructed him to, Take this paddle and cover one ear.

Did I mention he had lost one ear in a car wreck a few years back? Brilliant. He is such a nice guy that he simply forgave me for my stupidity.

I also put a patients new O.D. progressive lens into the O.S. side of his glasses and vice versa. You know what? He wore them that way for two weeks. No big deal as long as he held his head at a 45-degree angle and closed one eye to read. His chiropractor sent me a box of chocolates. When the patient came in for a re-check and I foundand correctedthe problem, I looked him right in the eye and told him the Gospel truth: that I was sorry my lab screwed up.

Special days can be special, SPECIAL!, or, in a word, toxic. But, each day, each experience, each moment adds up to joy for those who just wont have it any other way. Make that decision.

I hope my son and his new wife read this, too. They have such great days ahead.

* Gator (verb): To writhe around with hands and feet in the air while lying upon ones back to the tune of danceable soul or funk music. [See the movie Animal House for further examples.]

Vol. No: 143:09Issue: 9/15/2006