My dad was color blind, and that gene passed to his daughters to be possibly passed on to our sons. Only two of us daughters have sons – Kathryn and I. Kathryn’s son, Matt, is color blind. And of my two sons, only Aaron is color blind. I remember how as children we loved to ask my dad what color this item or that item was. We were amazed at dinner, for instance, when he couldn’t tell the difference between the colors of the peas and the carrots. Or we’d tease him in some way about colors. He was the most patient dad on the planet! Mom would hang his pants and shirts together, matching sets, so he could just grab a set and go. He knew that they always matched and that he would look coordinated, not disastrous like it would have been if he was left to put them together. When we were older and Mom would travel with her job, we’d threaten to mix Dad’s clothes up if he wasn’t nice to us. Those were empty threats but we sure had fun giving him a hard time and having him play along with us.
I also remember how my Mom wore this Avon pink lipstick with matching nail polish. Dad finally asked her to stop wearing it because pink looked blue to him, which meant that her blue lips and nails were a little eerie looking! One day, when we lived in Germany, we were driving down the autobahn and we passed a bright pink truck. Little Aaron yelled out, “Look at the BLUE truck.” I knew then that he was color blind.
The other day Aaron bought a huge bag of Skittles and brought it home. Often he likes to take a handful of Skittles and organize them by color. He leans way down to examine them in an effort to match them correctly. This morning he said, “Mom, I have a hard time with some of the colors in the Skittles.” So I asked him which colors are hard (though I knew) and he said, “Just the green, orange, red, and purple.” Well, that just about covers it – only yellow is left! I asked him to sort some for me while I fixed him some breakfast, and he proceeded to lean over his little pile and begin separating them. And sure enough, there in his pile of purple Skittles were two stray red ones that seemed just the same color to Aaron as the purple. He does a good job, though, and can compensate just like my dad did.
Dad could see yellow, too, and blue. So Mom would major on blue decorations at Christmas – a show of her love for Dad. And yellow roses or other yellow flowers were a favorite. Mom always planted plenty of yellow miniature roses or other yellow flowers for him to enjoy. When Dad died, though, Mom made sure there was a beautiful arrangement of multi-colored flowers adorning his coffin because now he could see and enjoy all the colors, not just the blue and yellow. Another example of her love shown for him.
Funny how something like Skittles can lead to such sweet, unexpected memories.