Little House On The Prairie was about living life under trying frontier conditions, Charles Ingalls (Michael Landon) did the best he could for his wife and four daughters. And he was usually up to the challenge, except in the two-part “I’ll Be Waving as You Drive Away” — when he learns that his beloved eldest daughter, Mary, is going blind, the result of an arduous bout with scarlet fever.
The devoted father almost comes undone when he has to give the girl the news. Television series, even those that pride themselves on realism, rarely make the afflictions of leading characters permanent conditions. But however gentle Little House’s spirit, the show doesn’t take the easy way out here. Blind Mary is, and blind she will stay; both she and her family learn to cope and hold on to hope in this deeply affecting episode.
Original Airdate: February 6 & 13, 1978