Repost and edited from September 2011
They were green eyes… I realized with time his eyes really did most of the talking for him during his lifetime. It wasn’t as much the look or expression on his face as it was the focus or emotion in his eyes that could portray any sense of feeling he had.
They were his mom’s eyes. His dad was half Native American, or at least that’s what his dad told everyone. His dad most certainly looked half Indian. In fact, to say he looked full blood would be a bit more accurate. He had some of his dad’s attributes, but the eyes were from his mom’s side of the family.
Those eyes were strong first, they showed intent in everything he did, but they also carried in them peace and joy. Long after I first began to understand the strength in those eyes, I would slowly, with time, realize in those green eyes were comfort.
As I looked out over my guard, which was identical to his, due to his teaching, I saw joy. Those green eyes told me he was having fun. Despite his waining skills, my quickness would be a bit too much for the man behind those haunting green eyes… finally.
As we moved, sidestepped quickly, carefully positioning the members of our bodies to best the other, I saw something else in those eyes. I saw extreme joy mixed with intensity… I didn’t see a shred of doubt…
The confidence in his eyes caught me a bit off-guard. The man behind the green eyes was underestimating the skill behind mine. I knew I was physically superior. I had longer, quicker and stronger arms. My feet and legs were superior as well.
It was all in fun, we weren’t going to throw full punches, just a hard, stinging pulled punch or slap in order to prove who would be the best for that day.The confidence in his green eyes was backed up by, not a grin on his face, but a full blown smile. I was smiling as well. His boxing career in the Air Force and Elks Lodges for extra money when his kids were babies was twenty-five years in his rear view mirror. I wasn’t even born at the time.
“You have any idea how fast I am?” I chuckled as we were moving around each other.
“I bet you’re really fast,” he was almost laughing.
Then he said something like, “Why don’t you show me some of that speed,” still smiling big. Right before he could get the last syllable out, I launched a lightning left jab getting ready to “slap” his right cheek… It never got there…
He parried my jab with his right and landed two straight jabs to the side of my face while I thought I had my guard up. It went on for another 20 or 30 seconds as the kind eyes and smile pummeled me gently.
By that time, his eyes were pouring emotion. He laughed his high-pitched perfect laugh. I laughed too… He grabbed me and hugged me, laughing, “Son, your faster than I thought you were,” he was still laughing, but sincere in his assessment.
His green eyes were proud, not of himself, he didn’t matter to himself, he was proud of me for really nothing, just for belonging to him.
I was proud of who he was as a man. His eyes hid no intention other than the truth of God he lived his life by, and that could be clearly seen in his green eyes.
As time goes on and God reveals to and in me who I am in this world, it changes me from not only the inside but the outside as well.
On a rare occasion and the light and angle are just right, as I glance in the mirror, I can see them, faintly, deep inside I spot them, my father’s eyes. I remember the eyes looking back at me, reminding me of the man I can still be.
When God took my dad home to be with Him, He plucked a piece of my heart and took it with them. Through the sorrow, I’ve learned it was His way of preparing me for when it is my turn to be taken home.
I’m also left with the memory and the love I will always carry with me, captured in those green eyes…