By Graham Dull
An old man sat in his chair watching his grandson on the floor playing with his toys.
The man was nearing the end of his days. He’d had a good life, he’d appreciated it. He had a lot of time now to reminisce and remember.
Yes, there were some bad times, but overall in the scheme of things, he couldn’t complain. Indeed, he didn’t complain. Life was good to him. He did once have an accident at work. It now seems such a long time ago. He had lost an eye, and it had been replaced with a glass one. His grandson was eternally intrigued by it.
This was the morning’s usual scenario. The boy would climb onto his lap, pull himself up, and confront him, nose to nose, eyeball to eyeball. “Tell me about it,” he would say. The old man would then relate how he had lost his eye in an accident at work — how they had made him a new one — and tell his grandson how good his new eye was.
The old man thought of how much he and his grandson had in common. The boy’s mother, who was his daughter, cared for both of them. They shared the experience of having the same gentle woman to get them both out of bed in the morning. She would bathe them both. She would put him in his chair in the sun-room, and put the boy nearby on the floor with his toys. She prepared their meals, and fed them. They were totally reliant on her. He loved his grandson, he loved his daughter.
He was a practical man. He didn’t have the least time for any foolish religious thing — fool people with such a variety of equally foolish views. If there is truth, there can only be one truth. It’s simply not possible for all views to be right.
He didn’t have any time either for smarty pants university fellows waving their degrees and trying to tell the world some fanciful once-upon-a-time story about where the universe came from and where it is going. Anyway, they couldn’t agree among themselves either. His view — they really didn’t know.
He, himself just lived by what he saw around him. He lived in the present. He enjoyed the moment. He had always lived his life that way, and he was happy. He saw no reason to bother about issues more complicated.
One morning the boy asked a different question. After completing the usual ‘in your face’ scenario — nose to nose, eyeball to eyeball — the boy asked, “Who made your good eye, Grandpa?”
For a long while the old man didn’t speak… His daughter came into the room.
“Mummy, Grandpa’s crying.”