Dear Lila, Esther, Jonathan, Heather, Karen, Rabia, Pim, Karen, Nictoria, Sonja, Lindsey, Ron:
These are my new glasses. The ones you bought me.
They mean a great deal to me.
I want to tell you about that.
I went on social assistance in November 2021.
The insecurity was awful. I felt so scared.
Acceptance was hard.
I'm not seeking pity. I want to be seen by anyone who is struggling.
Because I'm not alone.
There were benefits. Access to health stuff.
I don't know when I stopped seeing out of my old glasses.
It had been a while.
I received a voucher to get new glasses.
The thought of an eye exam lifted my spirit. I went on a Friday.
My blue eyes welled up when the optometrist dropped the correct lens down.
It was like looking through clean windows.
I went to the rack and found frames I loved.
I had them for about three weeks when I went for a long walk. On a Monday night.
And lost them.
I was so distraught. I cried so hard.
Something inside me broke.
It felt like good had been given to me. And then taken away.
You saw my distress on Twitter.
Within hours I had double the voucher funds.
I tried to reorder the same glasses.
But the discount rack is 'the lasts.' There was a similar pair, but the frame was smaller and didn't look right.
I left the store. Managing my disappointment.
I was going to leave it for a few days.
On the way home from the grocery store, I stopped at an optometrist.
I showed the woman a photo of me in the glasses. She came back with these frames. First pair.
They cost more.
I put them on. Power. Restored.
You gave me that.
I'm working to cross the bridge back to security. Like countless others.
Someday I hope to pay it forward.
This is to say thank you.
For the glasses.
For seeing my distress.
For holding me in your thoughts.
For sending care.
For being generous and kind.
For softening my heart.
Everyone is afraid of losing
Even the ones that always win
Hey sleepwalker, when the mountain comes back to life
It doesn't come from without
It comes from within