A Sunset

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September 26, 2016 by genelup

Marge was married to Jimmy for 20 years; she can see but he was blind since birth. Recently, she told a close friend, “One of the hardest things I’ve been trying to tell my husband is the differences in colors. He can’t comprehend them. I read somewhere feelings might suggest colors, or have him associate colors with things he can touch, taste, smell or hear…all his senses. Water is blue, green is leaves and grass, purple is plum, pink is cotton candy, orange is an orange, white is cotton, yellow is the warmth of a sun, red is a rose or anger.

“Then he said to me, ‘what if you put them all together…these so-called colors…how I feel or touch or smell or taste. What would they look like?’”

“Well, I thought hard…then told him many colors together may look like a rainbow or a sunset. He knows what a sky is so he could imagine something floating in the sky…different ‘colors.’ I explained to him when there is a heavy rain a rainbow of many colors appear in the sky and when the sun goes down different colors appear in the sky.”

Marge sighed, left her friend and went home to her husband.

Years went by and Jimmy often mentioned to Marge that he wished he could see colors. Marge wished she never tried to explain colors to Jimmy.

More years went by and Jimmy’s health began to fail. One day when Jimmy was on his death bed he told Marge: “I know what a face looks like because I can feel a face’s features, and I know the shapes of things like pillows and a washing machine. But, I can’t fathom what colors are.”

Marge teared up and excused herself and walked to the kitchen and cried. “Dear Lord, I’ve done a terrible thing. I’ve messed up telling Jimmy something he can’t possibly comprehend and now he is depressed. He should have peace now, not having a troubled mind.” Her tears flowed down her checks.

Days went by and Jimmy got worse. His children were called and it was a solemn time in the bedroom with his family gathered around the bed. His wife held her husband’s hand. Jimmy’s breathing became sparse. Then he twisted his head, his eyes fluttered and Marge for an instant saw the ever-present cloudy mist over her husband’s eyes disappear. Jimmy exclaimed: “I see colors. I don’t know what they are called but probably the pinks, and reds, and purples, and greens, and oranges you been talking about for years. I see what must be a sunset over the trees in our lawn and way over to the right there must be a rainbow. It looks like a huge arch from way over there to way over here.”

Jimmy smiled, and a few minutes later faded into eternal rest. His children were stunned, heartbroken and confused all at the same time. Marge began sobbing over Jimmy’s death, but there was a touch of happiness when she looked out the bedroom window and saw a rainbow and a sunset. But only briefly, for they quickly faded into total darkness.



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