Nothing is impossible



I have been wearing eye-glasses since forever. Everything is terribly blurry whenever I take them off. There are only a couple of times in my life that I had to get by without them. Those days were indeed full of anxiety and misery.

The other day I noticed that one of the two nose pads, which allow the eye-glass frame to sit on my nose comfortably, was missing. The pad arm, whose job is to secure the missing nose pad to the frame, was still there, but the crucial bit, a tiny screw that is approximately half-a-millimeter wide and two-millimeter long, was gone. As a result, the nose pad separated from the pad arm and went AWOL.

I could still use my eye-glasses to see, but it felt like sitting on a three-legged chair. I imagined a robot walking with one leg slightly shorter than the other, or a bird flying with one feather out of place. In fact, I had been so used to having both sides of my nose occupied by the pads that having one side now “free” made me feel a bit empty, less “whole”, lacking a subtle balance, like a bridge with only one end. It was a nuisance too small to complain about, yet still annoying.

Not knowing where I could have lost the missing nose pad and screw, I was preparing myself for the worst – a new pair of eye-glasses would cost me hundreds of dollars, which is definitely a bad idea at this time of the year. It could have been anywhere between home and the far-off shops. I resolved myself to having an unbalanced Christmas, with perhaps a slightly crooked vision. I could live with that.

Luckily, this afternoon, my observant son found the missing nose pad on the floor in one of our rooms. He thought it was from my husband’s reading-glasses, so we were pleasantly surprised that it actually belonged to me. As we still required the screw to secure the nose pad to the pad arm, I searched all over the house and found a pair of my broken eye-glasses from the ancient past, in the hope that we could enlist one of its many screws.

But the borrowed screw refused to fit, no matter how hard we tried. It was so small that our fingers took turns developing cramps just trying to hold it. Throughout the next hour or so, over the kitchen table, all our attempts to secure it into the tiny screw hole in the pad arm failed. Worse, the screw often slipped out of our clumsy hands and dropped to the floor, and we had to utilize the whole family to help searching for it. It was akin to finding a needle in a haystack.

My son went to the spot where he found the missing nose pad and began crawling all over the floor, looking for the missing screw. I was very grateful for his attempt to help – after all, he already helped a lot by finding the missing nose pad – but I still asked him to stop. “Don’t worry about it, now. Finding it is impossible,” I sighed. “It’s OK, Mom. Nothing is impossible,” my 10-year-old son replied cheerfully.

I now had a plate under my hands on the kitchen table, to catch the borrowed screw whenever it tried to escape. However, at one stage it fell into the plate — THEN BOUNCED OUT OF IT AND TO THE FLOOR. By now I was so frustrated that I howled like a cavewoman, but I could not jump up and down because my husband was crawling all around my feet to search for that troublesome screw.

I was about to throw everything on the table to tear my hair out, when my husband yelled triumphantly: “Found it!” He stood up and handed me the screw. However, I had been staring at the damned screw and the broken eye-glass frame for so long – holding them about two centimetres in front of my eyes so that I could see them clearly – that I immediately realized something was wrong.

“Hey, it’s a different screw!” I announced.

“That’s not possible!” my husband responded.

I tried to insert this new screw into the tiny screw hole on the pad arm, AND IT FITTED PERFECTLY. It is indeed the original screw! My husband then returned to the floor and indeed found the borrowed screw that had bounced from the plate, about FIVE CENTIMETRES from where the original screw had been laying all this time. We simply could not believe our eyes!

The original screw was in the kitchen, about ten meters from the room where the missing nose pad was found, and both of them could have been as far as half a kilometer away. If I had not accidentally dropped the borrowed screw, my husband might never have found the original screw. Even more interestingly, while the kitchen floor is laminated and the aforementioned room is tiled, the lounge room between them is carpeted — very woolly. If either the tiny nose pad or the even tinier original screw had been dropped in the lounge room, then they most likely would never have been recovered, perhaps not even by the vacuum cleaner. My husband, a very logical person, stammered: “What are the odds of that!”

I am very grateful for this amazing ending – my eye-glasses now sit comfortably on my nose, I can see properly again, and life resumes its normality. As my son said, “See, nothing is impossible.” If you think you cannot see the other end of the bridge, then perhaps it is only because it’s a rainbow.

Merry Christmas.


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