January 28, 2010

My Parting Gift

I just got back to Philadelphia after spending the past three days in California for my grandfather's funeral. My grandfather lived a full, wonderful life and it was a great honor and privilege to be able to celebrate his life with my extended family. I come from a very large family and this was the first time in over a decade that all of the children and grandchildren (with the exception of three grandsons who are serving overseas missions for our church) were together in one place. It was awesome.

I'm the oldest female granddaughter by several years and my age alone makes me a freak show amongst my younger female sisters and cousins, all of whom are in their early twenties. To them, I am the dreaded M-word.


My attempts to nudge my way into the coveted in-crowd were foiled by several unfortunate attributes including my oblivious ignorance of current fashion trends and two bloody eyes. On the cross-country plane trip, both eye sockets began to ooze and itch. Somewhere over Nebraska, I realized that I had a horrendous case of pink eye.

When prescription eye drops failed to take care of the problem, I was forced to purchase a pair of dark wrap around sunglasses from the geriatric aisle of the drugstore. Exposure to indoor lighting made my eyes burn. Direct sunlight was downright unbearable.

"Nice glasses," said one of my twenty-something sisters. A couple of cousins snickered from the love seat.

I informed the group that the glasses were the next big thing in fashion.
"Like wearing navy pantyhose with a black skirt?" my sister teased.
That's when I knew that they had noticed what I had hoped that they wouldn't.

Having lost all dignity, I spent the rest of the day with my grandparents' elderly friends, where amongst the blue perms and oxygen tanks, my appearance was downright fashion forward.

Fortunately, I'm not one to hold grudges. Before I left for home, I made a specific point to rub my infected eyes really good. Then, taking each darling sister and cousin by hand, I bid them a fond farewell.

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