When Joey was a baby, everybody said he had beautiful eyes, bright, transparent and glittering. When he grew up, I saw curiosity, passion and possibilities in his eyes, gazing, watching, and wondering. When he was told he had cancer at the age of 9, we didn’t see anguish and scare in his eyes. Even during his 21 months of treatment, we only saw tears in his eyes once. “I just want to run.”
His eyes, the window to his soul, free from fear and pain, were my hope in the darkest days.
On Thanksgiving 2014, a day after he died, we made the decision to donate his corneas to an eye bank, a decision me and Luke are forever grateful. His corneas were transplanted into two adults, who could see this world again because of his healthy and beautiful eyes.
Tonight, on the 7th year anniversary of his death, my eyes were flooded with tears. I think of his eyes all the time, but it’s difficult today to see beyond the sorrow. Everyday I miss him and it hurts like the first day he gained his wings.
I have been looking for his eyes timelessly. When I gazed upon the night sky with stars, I saw his eyes. When I spotted glimmer of sunlight through trees, I saw his eyes. When I stared at a magnificent rainbow, I saw his eyes. When I caught a glimpse of birds flying by, I saw his eyes. When I marveled at the Christmas light at the Sea World, I saw his eyes. Even when I was walking on a bustling street, I saw his eyes. Many times, I turned around and stood there in the middle of street, thinking maybe among the people who walked by, there was the person who got his cornea. Maybe I did see his eyes in this earthly world. Maybe I saw my child again. Maybe that eye could recognize me. Maybe we met again after countless excruciating days. Maybe we looked into each other’s eyes!
And I prayed to God even it is only one second, please let it happen – it would bring me tremendous joy.
Tonight I looked into his eyes in this picture, it brought me peace. I miss his smile. I miss his face. I miss his voice and I miss his eyes.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.” Matthew 6:22