“Ladies and gentlemen, I must apologise for the sudden interruption of my presentation following the commotion we experienced last week. We all ran for safety. The incident stirred up in me memories of how I lost my eyes,” said Tamuno.
He continued, “I also have memories of a similar real life encounter while in the company of a pastor-friend. Our mutual friend had died and the pastor was chosen to preach the sermon at his wake. He preached a beautiful and touching sermon about death and heaven.
“You must all work and walk towards heaven,” he had said and concluded with that beautiful song, “Seeking Heaven Alone Brings True Happiness.” Finally, he asked the audience, “Raise up your right hand if you want to go to heaven.”
Every hand was up! He beamed with smile, looked right and left and asked them to lower their hands. Then he asked again, “If you would like to go to heaven right now raise up your hand?” No one raised up his hand. Suddenly, as if on cue, without any warning, there was a loud explosion. The pastor dived and I dived under the table. He passed out. I sustained severe knocks on my eyes and saw stars.
Everyone else was standing unperturbed! It turned out that a young man had filled an empty water sachet with air and suddenly compressed them between both hands leading to the explosive sound!
It was a practical joke which only the two of us fell for. When the pastor came round a few minutes later, he said remorsefully, “I was turned back at the gate of heaven by an angel. He said my time was not yet up.”
“Many, especially children, have asked me the secret behind my new dark glasses. Some have asked me to remove them so they could see my eyes!” It has remained my secret. A secret is something that is kept or meant to be kept unknown or unseen by others. Why should I share it with others? It is my business and not their problem!” I had surmised.
It’s a painful reminder of my past – my folly – and it has been very difficult to accept the finality of it all. You may ask, “Why have you changed your mind and decided to share it with members of the United for Vision Club now?” “Simple! I had a rethink – others must learn from my experience.”
Tamuno raised his hand as if he was going to remove his glasses; hesitated; dropped his hand to his side and smiled. Then raised up his hand again, pointing at his glasses, said, “These glasses are my eyes. Without them I see nothing.” Everyone was very attentive and focused on his glasses.
For the first time, I saw some special features that I had failed to see before. They are not ordinary sunglasses! Definitely, he wasn’t seeing through them! It occurred to me that what looked like lenses were actually electronic plates with microchips. This is a mini camera/computer, I concluded.
Immediately, I was even more curious than before. What is behind these glasses? I would like to see his eyeballs to be able to appreciate how the contraption worked.
“You may recall that I obtained my first pair of glasses in my first year in the university because of short-sightedness (myopia). I saw the world as never before. I had them changed many times later.
But just a few weeks to my 41st birthday, I began to have difficulty punching out numbers on my mobile phone or reading the Bible with my glasses. I was told I had presbyopia – the effect of age on my eyes and given a pair of progressive glasses. Then suddenly, like a thunderbolt, I had a painless loss of vision in my right eye and a few days later in my left. My doctor told me I had tears in my retina it could be due to a combination of previous trauma and fairly high myopia for which I had been using glasses. The tears had progressed rapidly to a detachment of the retina in both eyes.
“The retina is the light-sensitive inner coat of the eye. Light rays pass through the pupil and are focused onto the retina.
The rays falling on the retina are then converted into impulses that travel through the optic nerve to our brain, where they are interpreted as the images we see. A healthy, intact retina is key to clear vision. Once detached, it degenerates and loses its function.
“The ophthalmologist advised me to have surgery to save my eyes. Reluctantly, I submitted to the surgery. It was done, one eye at a time. The outcome was great and within weeks regained full vision in both eyes. But several weeks after, something went wrong. It was all my fault. Sadly, I lost both eyes!” Tamuno removed his special glasses to reveal his eyes – the secret behind his dark glasses! At the grisly sight, we all screamed! Why did we scream? Find out next week.