My Grandfathers Eye - Part 1
As The Wind Blows
Sitting around at my grandfathers house watching some TV and squinting. Just recently I had an eye doctor appointment and they discovered that my squinting and subsequent headaches were because I needed some corrective lenses, or glasses to the common folk. I freely admit that the glasses made a difference and my vision improved but being a typical young kid I didn't want to wear them because I thought they made me look dorky and other kids would end up making fun of me because of it.
Looking back on it all now I realize that my worries were unfounded, many other kids in my class wore glasses and I never once thought to make fun of them nor do I recall anyone else making jokes other than the occasional “poindexter” comment or whatever happened to hit the latest TGIFriday sitcom from the previous week. However, the thought crept into my head and when it did I stopped wearing my glasses and went back to squinting and getting headaches.
Later that day I was outside playing with my brother and the wind was really kicking up some dust. At one point the wind blew and I didn’t get my head turned around nor my eyes closed quick enough and ended up with some dirt in my eye. I ended up going into the house with tears running down my cheeks asking for someone to wash the dirt out. Grampa comes over and puts me on a chair in front of the kitchen sink and starts telling me a story as he had me bend over backwards so that he could run the faucet over my head and into my eyes.
You see sonny, when I was just a little bit older than you I used to play outside with my friends all of the time. Well, as I recall one one fateful evening I was out playing and the wind was kicking up a shit storm outside and I wasn’t paying heed to my ma’s warning and continued to play instead of comin’ inside where I would be out of harm's way.
Y’see, I was a kid, what did I know of harm’s way? Sounded like an old wives tale just designed to keep me in check and inside where I could be watched more carefully. Nah, I sure wasn’t going to stop playing because of a little wind.
So me and the boys ended up over at the park with the baseball field and started throwin’ the ball around and havin’ a good ole time when a big gust of wind swept through kicking up a ton of dust from the stands and at that same time old Kenny had thrown a ball high as he could and I was runnin’ towards it trying to catch it.
Somebody screamed to look out and I glanced to see where the voice was coming from and I looked directly into the sand storm and between the force of the sand hitting me, the shock of what was happening and the dirt getting in my eyes it knocked me flat on my ass for all my friends to laugh at.
The laughter stopped shortly as they could tell I was in real pain because I had my eyes covered up and kept talking about how it hurt too bad to open them. In fact if’n ya listen to them recant the story they mention that what really spooked them is that after a minute or two the tears in my left eye started to run red with blood. The helped me to my feet and slung my arms over their shoulders and we made a mad dash back to my house.
My parents ended up having to take me to the hospital because by that point the sand was doing a number on my eye and my lids and, indeed, there was a bit of blood coming out since my eyes were being rubbed raw by all the dirt in ‘em. I don’t remember much after see’in the doctor because they gave me something for the pain and it ended up knocking me out cold.
When I woke back up a few hours later they had my head wrapped up on my left side and I could only see out of my right. They told me it would take a while to heal and to just let my parents fix the bandages and apply the ointment. This went on for about a month or so and then we went back to see the doctor who fixed me up. When we got there he took my bandages off and I noticed I still couldn’t see out of my left eye. I thought it was from the fact that it was pure dark for a month and it needed time to adjust but then a nurse walked in and handed the doctor a box. He opened it up and took something out and turned to me and…
With that my Grampa reached into his left socket with two fingers and dug out his eyeball, turning it towards me with the eye facing me. “You see, the doctor showed me this and then held it up against my left eye socket and forced it in. I lost my eye the day of the sand storm because I didn’t listen to my mother and come in the house during the wind storm. Now you, you got those glasses that will protect you but I’ll be damned if you don’t feel like wearing them because you don’t like the way they look. You’re damned lucky right now that you didn’t get much sand in your eye or you’d be my twin with only one good eye.”
From that day forward I wore my glasses from the moment I woke up until the I laid down to go to bed. Grampa taking his eye out freaked the crap out of me and no way did I want to end up like that.