Mary waited impatiently as the bandages were removed from her eyes. In mere moments she would know whether or not the operation had been a success, whether she would once again be able to see the wonders of nature, the faces of those she loved.
The loss of her sight had been such a cruel blow to Mary. For so long she had felt so helpless, so bitter, so completely without hope that she could ever be happy again. Then Adam Kendall had entered her life, had patiently but firmly taught her that life did indeed go on, that even without her sight she could still have a future. Their friendship had blossomed into love, and the two had wed.
As Adam's wife and a fellow teacher at the blind school, Mary had come to feel that her life was reasonably complete, and only occasionally felt sad about all that she had lost. Then one day she had seen a ray of light shining in through the window, and hope had blossomed once again - hope that perhaps she could truly have back everything that she thought that she had lost forever.
"Are you ready, Mary?" asked the physician.
"As ready as I'll ever be!" Mary replied. She felt the last of the bandages being pulled away and then...she saw. She saw the doctor's face, and beyond that, she saw the light tan of the walls, the white of the ceiling, the dark brown of the floor.
"I can see!" Mary screamed with excitement as she jumped to her feet. Tears of happiness streamed down her cheeks as she danced around with joy.
"I'm so glad the operation was a success," said the smiling doctor as Mary hugged him and kissed his cheek.
"I want to see Adam!" Mary exclaimed. Although she knew every intimate detail of her husband's body through her sense of touch, she had never before seen his face.
The physician opened the door of the waiting room and called his name. A moment later, he hesitantly entered the room. Mary saw that he was tall and slender, with short, slightly curly brown hair and blue eyes. She went to him and expertly ran her fingers over his face. Yes, it was Adam.
"Oh, Adam." Overcome with emotion, she clung to him tightly.
"I hope you're not disappointed," he said with a smile.
"Oh, no, not at all!" she quickly assured him. "How could I be?"
He looked greatly relieved.
"You're everything I ever imagined you to be, and more," she continued. "And Adam...even if you had turned out to be homely, I wouldn't love you one iota less."
He beamed. "Would you like to meet the others?"
"Oh, yes!" she cried eagerly.
Her parents still looked much the same as they had the last time she had seen them, of course. Laura and Carrie were taller, and Grace had grown from the infant she had been when Mary had last seen her to an active toddler with curly blonde hair and big blue eyes.
"Why, you've gotten so big that I didn't even recognize you!" Mary exclaimed as she scooped the little girl up into her arms and cuddled her.
Mary was so overjoyed to see her family again that she didn't even notice the passage of time until Adam gently touched her elbow and told her that it was time to go home.