If you have to ask you'll never know ! [L.Armstrong]... thats Louis not Lance.

Jun 23, 2008

Curtain Call.

He was eighty two years old. Four children. Seven grandchildren. He loved them. They loved him. His one daughter much more than the three boys. Twenty two years of retirement. During which he'd taken his grandchildren to school most mornings. The collection in church on Sunday he'd stopped doing five years ago. He drank, a little. He smoked, a lot. And while men half his age were having angioplastys and bypasses.He smoked the Havana that his son had brought him when he got back from his last voyage.
Old ? Ha. A man is only as old as the woman he feels, he'd joke. But this year the monsoon had him feeling cold. Then he got caught in the rain. Luckily he'd dropped the kids to school already and was alone. Otherwise they'd have got wet too. A cold a cough. Two weeks on and no signs of it going away. Breathing was getting more difficult. Walking impossible. Soup. From the daughters-in-law. From the neighbours. They stopped the visitors because it tired him out to sit up.
A cigarette.
Not now. When you're better.
But he knew it wa'nt going to get better. But he did'nt say that.And they could'nt bring themselves to think that. So they moved him into hospital. A dish to pee into. No walking. A needle always in his arm. A tube down his throat. Strange faces. Strange food. The littlest kids were'nt allowed into the hospital. They must be wondering where he was.
The breathing got worse. Then it stopped. A ventilator. ICU . Even the bigger ones could'nt see him now. Well they could. But for five minutes only. And one at a time.
The lights in here were always on. The alarm bell that went off when the guy in the next bed signed out.
He heard his son tell the nurse. That this was no way to live.
And if he did'nt have the tube in his mouth he would have told him. Told him that this was no way to die.


Anonymous said...

Reminds me of someone very close to me...except that he died at 67.

Anonymous said...

I loved this post.
And I agree-'' thats no way to live'

I'm not anywhere near 80,but have a terminal disease... the docs gave me 3 years,3 years ago... and I'm still alive and kicking!

Its all in the mind,think postive and God will take care of you.No doctor tells me when I'm going to die-thats only in His hands.
All the best Clem and keep writing.