Thursday, June 9, 2011


[image from google]

"I dont want to
go to the hospital"
he says.
He is 90,
white as a sheet,
but with
a jaundiced tint.
When he moves
from the chair
that he lives in
to the commode,
his blood pressure
and he faints.
It takes some time
for him to
return to himself.

He is weakening.
By the week,
he is failing.
But his brave wife,
who does not sleep
for worrying
he might need her
in the night,
and who is
exhausted enough
to topple over
where she stands,
encourages him.

you are dehydrated,
and your body
is not supporting you.
Can I let you
go down like this?
Can I let you leave
our life together?
Let them help you.
I will be
right there
with you.
And then we will
come home,
well and safe."

he says.

And she goes
into the kitchen
and bursts into tears.
She is afraid,
very afraid.
She wants
to believe
that they still
have more
time together.
But they are on
a conveyor belt
that is moving
inexorably forward
towards a
final destination.

Maybe not now,
but sometime soon,
the time will come.
And she simply
cannot bear it.

He has not got
the energy
to get into
the wheelchair,
then be transferred
to the ambulance.
But somehow,
all of us
holding our breath
and willing no falls,
it is accomplished,
after which
he looks paler
than ever.

His wife,
strong-hearted with love,
yet so weak
from exhaustion,
she can barely
whispers "Insh'Allah"
to herself
with every step.
"Whatever God wants,
that is what we must do,"
she tells me.

She has me load her walker
into the SUV,
hand her her purse.
I give her a hug,
caution her
to drive slowly.

I watch her drive away
into what will happen
this weekend,
this week,
this month,
this year,
this future
unfolding before her,
which she
does not want
and which
be stopped.


  1. I love this write more than I can say! You are such a wonderful writer! Old age is indeed a very scary thing...The last lines gave me goosebumps...! Thanks for sharing this lovely, inspiring and thoughtful post!

  2. Well done Sherry ... it happens to each of us on some level with someone. And we each fear it. But it comes.


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