you’ll smile again

Frail and fragile do not seem to cover just how breakable you are. I’m not simply referring to the fact that a small fall out of bed could crack your bones. As an individual you are so brittle. You keep a picture of your wife, who died two years ago, on the table next to your bed but your eyes are old and cannot see like they once did. Your children, grandchildren, and what few friends you have left keep you company when time allows. It must be terribly hard. You tell stories to anyone who will listen, as you always have, but sometimes the stories in your head seem to be missing pages. You and your wife used to write each other letters when you were in the war and you keep them in a flowery box of hers on the shelf in your closet. I wonder if you would read them all the time if your eyes were better. When I visit I constantly wonder if you’re happy. Sometimes I think you’re ready for death. Ready to be reunited with your wife, brothers, sisters, parents, and friends. Ready to walk without a cane and to get dressed without anyone helping you. Ready to play Bridge and go dancing until the early hours of morning like you used to in Chicago. Until you’re allowed those freedoms again I’ll keep announcing who I am when you don’t see me, I’ll go on walks around the neighborhood with you, and try anything to make you smile.

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