I’m not sure he knows he is on his death-bed, 88 years old, DNA betraying his spine, his brain, his heart. But then again, I am not aware that I’m on my own death bed, as we all are, from one moment to the next. Moreover, as Eleanor Ross Taylor writes, “just waking up can kill you.”
He is not always cogent these days, but like the same man who supported me from the ballpark bleachers 25 years ago, I heard before the last turn, he read my posts, and the same skinny, gawky girl receives yet another gift from him, recalling every grandfatherly thing he did for me. Even if he was not indeed my veritable grandfather, he was my only grandfather.
Though I don’t know I can do the same, I hope he finds some sort of peace as he faces the abyss. At the very least, as he recounts memories with his adoring, twilight visitors, let him feast upon his life. Heartily.
Love After Love
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
Today’s Advice: “Nostalgia is another name for one’s sense of loss at the thought that one has sadly gone along happily overlooking something, who knows what.” Lyn Hejinian, “Happily”