I used to spend weeks on my grandpa’s farm. He would explain to me how I could help him best, and the easiest way to accomplish the chores I got to do. I can picture times when his eyes would warn me of the danger I put myself in when I misused tools or equipment, or let my excessive energy get me caught in sticky situations. My grandpa’s eyes always told me when he was pleased with my work, and when he was disappointed. Although, his disappointing glances never outshined his looks that showed his willingness to help me perfect where I fell short, and learn from my mistakes. Some of my favorite experiences on the farm were when I made silly mistakes, and would see my grandpa’s eyes almost laugh and say, “don’t worry, that happened to me once.”
When my grandpa’s eyes are clearly a window to his character are the times when they shine in anguish due to the misfortune of others. So often I see my grandpa’s eyes stand out when they harbor tears that are shed when others are struggling. Never do I see my Grandpa complain because of the trials he’s experiencing, and never does he expect others to share in his pain. I’ve experienced comfort when I see my grandpa’s teary eyes reach out to me, and his eyes tell me he’s spent his whole life reaching out to others.
Nothing can tell me more about my grandpa than the mark his eyes have painted on others. Incidentally, where I witness this the mark most often is in the eyes of those who were lucky enough to be his canvas. My grandpa was diagnosed with cancer recently. This news rang sharply through the ears of all those who loved my grandpa so dearly. On one occasion, I was driving home from my grandpa’s house with my dad. He was explaining to me, for the first time, that grandpa had cancer. As my dad explained the situation to me his eyes filled with tears, and finally, the tears gently spilt down his cheeks, and fell to his lap.
That was the first time, as I watched and listened to my dad, and felt the tears form in my own eyes, that I understood how special my grandpa really was. All those years spent on the farm, and all those times my grandpa’s eyes stood out to me; they were just stepping stones that made me love seeing his eyes. But as I drove home with my dad, after visiting him, was when I truly felt the power of my grandpa’s eyes.
Wednesday March 11, 2006