I saw it for the first time last night. I guess I just never looked. Maybe I was afraid to look inside. Who knows what lurked in his soul? But last night, things took a turn for the utter worse and I looked into his eyes. It was a captured moment and not real time. There can never be another real time glance. He died way before I learned to read a person’s eye.

Among other features we share, my father and I have the same eyes. We both have the crystal blue eyes that reflect the world. Our eyes can tell stories. Our eyes discuss all the things our mouths would never dare to say.

In this captured moment, it seemed to be a happy time. My father was dressed in a white suit and set for graduating Cardinal Dougherty High School. As most teens felt in that moment of life, my father seemed to think the world was his and he was ready for all the opportunities.

But I looked closer at the picture and I saw his blue eyes deceiving the world. His right eye was filled with all the hope and dreams of a teen ready to turn into an adult. The camera captured his future plan of college and maybe even his future with my mother. His right eye danced and sparkled as he looked to all the good things a life could offer.

His left eye told the tale of all the horrors. I was a terrible historian. I didn’t know exactly when this picture was taken; therefore, I couldn’t explain the horrors found in his left eye. My best guess was it was all the future horrors. The cosmic knowledge his 25 year old cousin would get hit by a train and no one would know if it was an accident or not. The horror of having children he may not have been ready for and worrying how to feed and clothe them when his future company folds. All the rejection letters piling up in a red scrapbook showing the world he wasn’t the great writer he perceived himself to be.

Then there was the horror of all horrors- his own death.

In his left eye, with all the dullness of a life less lived, I saw the horror of his fatal accident. I saw his fear of being in his late thirty’s and leaving his wife and children behind. I felt the pain of knowing he missed out on my whole life. In that eye, I saw his fear of what I might do to myself. His eye reflected the pain and hurt I have within me. The things I thought I hid from the world reflected in his eye. My mother claimed to know me the best; however, I think it may have been my father who may have truly understood me.

With my broken heart and cut up body, I looked at my father’s picture. Through his eyes, he asked me to stay. He begged me to finish the things he couldn’t do. He told me he understood me in ways I have yet to understand myself.  In his right eye was all his hope for me and in the left was all his fear for me. He knew I would walk down his path and he begs me to be smarter. He wants me to stay.

If my father’s eyes can speak volumes to me, what do my eyes speak to others?