A person with green eyes looking in their reflection in the rearview mirror of a car.

Why My Eyes Are Still My Favorite

If someone were to ask me what my favorite part of my body was before I had thyroid eye disease (TED), I would answer with my eyes. Even now after all that they have endured with TED and the changes they’ve gone through, they’re still my favorite part of my body.

Only one with green eyes

I am the only one in my immediate family with green eyes. My dad and sister have brown eyes while my mom’s eyes are more hazel. Growing up, I found that uniqueness rather striking. I am not like my family members in many ways but appearance-wise, I look most like mom. Although I am a good eight inches shorter than her.

My mom’s father, my grandfather, had green eyes. I inherited the color from him. His eyes were more greyish green than my vibrant green eyes. He died when was 12 and I do not remember putting two and two together while he was alive, that I got my eye color from him. It was only by looking at photos in the years since I can see his eyes in mine.

Being the only one with green eyes in my household meant I did not recognize my eyes in anyone else’s. I could not look at my parents or sister and think, ah yes, we have the same eyes. At elementary school, in art class, when asked to draw a picture of my family, I used a brown crayon for their eyes and a green crayon for mine. I took a secret sense of pride in my eye color because they were unique to me.

Lasting memory

I remember I was in my early 20s, sitting in my car, while the kid I used to watch was at soccer practice. It was a late weekday afternoon, the sun had not yet set. I lifted up my sunglasses and looked at my eyes in the rearview mirror. I moved my head from one side to the other as my eyes followed my gaze in the small mirror. I smiled before putting my sunglasses back on.

I had experienced numerous changes in my appearance throughout my life with my body. Weight gain, and loss. Gaps in my teeth then had braces for several years then implants put in where I had missing teeth. Acne came and went, leaving scars on my skin. Different hair lengths and styles. The one thing that was consistent was my eyes.

I could look in the mirror and see all these changes while my eyes remained the same. I liked being able to hold onto that prideful feeling I had as a kid into my early adult years. I wasn’t worried about them changing. I never thought they could change. Maybe I would have to wear glasses as I got older but not once did I think their appearance or shape would change the way that it would in the years to follow.

Why my eyes are still my favorite with thyroid eye disease

My eyes now mean something different to me. They no longer reflect the childhood thoughts I once held dear. Instead, they remind me of what I have gone through with my experience with TED. They’re a symbol of my strength and resilience through difficult times. They’re my favorite because of what they’ve taught me about who I am.

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