Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mysteries of Aging

Exactly six years ago I wrote the following poem:

Mysteries of Aging

Dad shuffles about
and needs to be led,
grips on tight
fears he will fall.

He cannot hear very well
and says very little,
still smiles and laughs.
A few humorous replies
cover up the confusion he feels.

He knows he does not know.
He realizes he can’t remember.
He feels lost and wants to be told
where to go, what to do.

Worn, weary and distant,
the years have robbed
his mental and physical agility,
not so his wit and gentleness,
nor his ability
--to play Scrabble (and win!)
and keep score for all.
--to play beautiful baritone
--to read perfect Spanish
--to pray fervently...
These mysteries remain.

Rita D. Koch
February 13, 2007

For a long time now Dad has not been able to walk or talk. 
His head bowed, he would look up and smile, the extent of recognition.
Today, he lays comfortably on a new air mattress and sleeps peacefully all the time.
He has not been out of bed for a week and has barely eaten anything, just sips here and there.
We signed papers for hospice care this morning. The additional services they can provide are welcomed by the Grace Village staff. They will keep Mother informed so she has greater peace of mind.

Even though I walk through the dark valley of death,
    because you are with me, I fear no harm.
        Your rod and your staff give me courage.  (Psalm 23:4 GW )

But we don't know how long the valley is.


Cotehele said...

Rita, the poem is beautiful. Your father is fortunate to have your love. I pray his days are gentle and peaceful. My heart goes out to you.

The Bug said...

Lovely poem. It's hard to take this walk - even when you know that at the end is a place more lovely than we can imagine...