Mary and Steve Burroughs of Norfolk, Nebraska watched their sons share a life-changing moment on Christmas in 2018.
Three of the couple’s sons – Keegan, 13, and Dilan, 9, and Sean, 25 – are colorblind. But a special gift gave them an entirely new way to see what the holidays were all about.
Christmas in color
The Burroughs have 8 children, but just three have the condition, as does Mary’s father. As a result, they have a reduced sensitivity to red and green light.
Mary had talked to her own siblings in the past about gifting their father with special glasses that correct the condition, but it simply didn’t work out. They’re not something you can just go pick up a few pairs of – they cost between $250-$350.
“I think in hearing me talk about that for my father, it was my son Aidan who thought let’s do this for the boys instead,” she told Norfolk Daily News. “I think he just wants them to be able to see things the way he’s able to see things.”
The Burroughs’ other children – Emily, Logan, Molly, and Tristan – were happy to help plan the surprise while the family spent their holiday down in Florida in 2018.
A whole new world
The family took a video of Sean, Keegan, and Dilan opening their glasses – and it appears that had tipped off at least one of them.
“I knew it,” Dilan said as he tore open his gift.
Meanwhile, Keegan teared up as soon as he saw that box.
And it sounds like the family’s investment was well worth it.
“When I first tried them on, I looked around at the grass and I could tell it had changed my life,” Keegan said. “The grass was greener and I could finally tell the color of roses. When everyone’s like, ‘Oh, these roses are so pretty,’ I can finally see like the redness of them and how truly beautiful they were.”
There were a lot of happy tears that Christmas.
While most of us take the world in color for granted, there are things the boys had just never been able to appreciate before.
“We had dinner and we’re sitting along an outdoor patio and our older son (Sean), he and I were sitting together — the whole family was there — but I noticed that he kind of put his glasses on and looks out at the sunset,” dad Steve told Norfolk Daily News. “I said, ‘What are you doing?’ And he says, ‘I’ve never seen a sunset,’ and this is a kid who spent three years working on cruise ships. … So he’s been all over the world and never seen a sunset until this Christmas.”
Life in color
The boys had all learned to adapt in different ways to their colorblindness and they don’t wear the glasses all the time.
Sean, for example, said he’s memorized everyday things, like red and green traffic lights. But he’s still getting plenty of use out of them – and literally seeing the world in a whole new light.
“My whole life I’ve struggled distinguishing color even if I’m looking at a landscape, the flowers would all blend in together and I couldn’t distinguish leaves from petals and I also struggled with seeing stop lights,” he said. “So seeing them so clearly for the first time, being able to distinguish it so brightly and so vividly was so overwhelming.”
As for Dilan, he wears corrective glasses for vision, so he can’t wear his new glasses all the time. But he said his favorite part of the special glasses was being able to see the sky differently.
Keegan wears his glasses nearly all the time.
Meanwhile, their parents are just grateful that they had the option to give their kids access to a whole new world.
“It’s just purely making the beautiful world we live in that much more beautiful,” Mary said. “Sight is such a beautiful gift and something that we all take for granted. We need to count our blessings.”
Be sure to scroll down below to see the footage from the gift-opening.
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