>> January 30, 2016
I thought I would post a short story I wrote about 7 years ago.I re-worked it a little bit. A few special true life memories of my grandfather are mixed in with this piece of fiction. I hope you enjoy it.
I spun and watched myself in the mirror. I like my new dress. Mom let me choose what I wanted. It’s yellow with a border of pink flowers and tiny green leaves along the hem-line. I especially like the shiny satin sash Mom ties into a perfect bow in the back. It makes my tan look dark and the gold flecks in my hazel eyes sparkle when I wear it. I think Grandpa will like it.
I stick out among my family in the front row of the church. Everyone else is dressed in dull dark colors. My feet don’t quite touch the ground, so I swing my legs back and forth, admiring my new sandals on the upswing.
People are sad and I hear a lot of nose blowing goin’ on. We sang hymns. I don’t know why, it’s not Sunday. Some old people stand and take turns saying nice things about my grandpa. They tell funny stories and remind us what a hard worker he was.
Grandpa lived in a muckledunberry world ‘cuz he was colorblind. Mostly all he saw were different shades of yellowy-browns. That’s why he called it muckledunberry.
Sometimes I’d sit on his lap while he watched baseball. I’d ask him, “Grandpa, what color are my eyes?”
He’d say, “Muckledunberry.” Then he’d steal my nose. I’d just giggle even though I was getting too old for that joke.
On the way to town, he always stopped at the single blinking yellow light at the bottom of the hill. I’d say, “You can keep going, Grandpa, its yellow. Blinking yellow means go very carefully."
“All lights look the same to me, Sweetie. I have to stop at all of them just to be sure.”
I gave up. I couldn’t convince him to roll on through the intersection.
Last year Grandpa got sick. Mom said he got cancer in his pancreas. I don't know what a pancreas is but I know cancer is bad. She said I can’t climb around on his lap anymore, ‘cuz it probably hurts him, but Grandpa would never tell me that. I’d sit at his feet and lean my back against his chair. He’d pat my head and run his fingers through my summer blonde hair. Sometimes, he’d scoot over and let me sit in the chair with him and we’d cuddle. I’d always be real careful. He sure got quiet after he caught cancer.
After a few months, I noticed his skin started looking sort of yellowy. Not too long after that his eyeballs weren’t white anymore. They were sad and matched the color of his skin. He tried to smile, but I knew he didn’t feel like smilin’ too much.
When I realized how sick Grandpa was I asked Mom, “Does grandpa know his eyes are yellow now, bein’ he’s color blind and all?” Mom said she didn’t know but told me not to ask him.
Pastor asked if anyone else wanted to say something. I raised my hand and waited to be called on like in school. He told me I could stand up by him so everybody could see me.
“My grandpa was color blind. He couldn’t tell what color tomatoes or watermelons were. He didn’t know when his grass needed watered or that I have gold flecks in my eyes. He said most colors blended together into one brownish-yellow mess. Muckledunberry is what he called it. That’s not a real color. Not even in the biggest box of crayons, you won’t find a muckledunberry.” Everyone laughed when I said that.
“I picked this dress at the store to wear special for today. It’s bright yellow, not muckledunberry like he’s use to.” I pulled the hem of my dress up a little bit and pointed at the flowers. “It has pink and green in it and Mom said it makes the gold flecks in my eyes sparkle.”
“I learned in Sunday School that when we go to heaven we aren’t sick no more. That means Grandpa’s cancer is all gone now. So, I think his colorblindness is gone, too. Today Grandpa is walking on the streets of gold. I think that’s pretty cool.”
Mom sniffed and blew her nose and then she winked at me.
“I chose this dress so Grandpa can look down from heaven and see me in full color.” I spun around to show off my dress and people giggled. “And now,” I looked up at Pastor and smiled big, “he knows what color my eyes really are.”