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The Light at the End of the Tunnel This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

I can still remember that awful, bone chilling shriek my mother let out on that awful fall day. It was October 17th, 1999 and my mom was getting me ready for school, but then the phone rang. My grandpa, who my brother and I called Dgedo, had been sick in the hospital for some time, but it had never occurred to anyone that he wouldn’t make it through. It was my aunt on the phone, she murmured the words to my mother that her father, my Dgedo, had passed early that morning. My mom immediately collapsed to the ground, shrieking and creating a river with the tears that were flowing from her eyes.

Dgedo wore these cool vintage aviators. You see, he was a farmer so when he was out in the fields and the sun was too intense, he’d throw on those sunglasses to shield his eyes from the blistering of the rays. They had gold rims and pads so that when you put them behind your ears, they wouldn’t give you a headache. When he would wipe the sweat off his brow, and call it quits for the day he’d carefully slide his glasses into his black leather carrying case.

It’s been ten years since he passed. Periodically while we’re at my grandmas house we rummage through all his old things, picking out items we want to keep or just laughing and reminiscing on all the good memories that he has brought us. One day while looking through a shoebox full of old postcards and stupid little trinkets he always loved to keep, I stumbled upon that little black leather eyeglass case. My eyes welled up with tears as a huge smile began to emerge from my face, ear to ear. I was so thrilled. Wiping my eyes clear of the tears I delicately unsnapped the button on the outside to reveal its contents. I slid the glasses out of the case, I began to cry almost as if I was in pain, but in a sense I couldn’t really tell if these tears were sad or joyful that I had one of the most cherished pieces of my Dgedos things. I softly undid the hinges and wrapped the arms around my ears. They surprisingly fit to a tee, the nosepiece rested on the bridge of my nose, just at the correct spot it should have been. The feeling that had overcome my body was indescribable. Sad, because I wish he had presented the glasses to me personally, but joyful and happy because I knew he was loo
king down on me and smiling.

As I began to get older, as well as a bit more wiser, I started to appreciate the glasses a lot more. I started wearing them quite often during the summertime, but was always cautious enough to put them back in their case the moment they dismounted from my sun-kissed skin. I feel very humbled that my grandmother allowed me to keep those glasses, because without them I would have so many less memories than I do with them. A mere touch of the cold metal that surrounds the tinted plastic shades brings me back to when he used to be here.



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