AS NEAR AS POSSIBLE

I know it’s close.

I feel it.

Deep in the nooks between my tissue and bone.

My trillions of cells on high alert.

Senses so sharp I can feel the earth cracking beneath me.

Warning me of a quake that’s coming.

My urge is to run.

Run.

Run.

Until my legs give out and can’t take me any further.

I would crawl then.

Just to keep going.

To keep running.

But there is no place to go.

That’s far enough.

That would save me from what’s coming.

So I stay.

As near as possible.

Grateful for the time.

The handholding.

My heart on high alert.

Taking in everything.

Every last moment.

Second.

A MILLION PIECES

Who knows how my heart will work once it shatters.

I hope it helps me love more.

A million pieces.

Now my super power.

Beating uniquely.

Free to expand.

Creating more room.

For growth.

Empathy.

Understanding.

Compassion.

A million pieces.

Each one containing a little part of you.

GRAVITY

Gravity didn’t work on you.

Hovering above the ground when you walked in.

A cowboy hat or a Cowboy’s cap.

Wranglers.

Belt and boots.

My tiny hands always reaching up to you.

Hoping to fly too.

There’s no gliding now.

You can barely walk.

The cancer so severe it’s withered you down.

Taking you slowly.

Painfully.

Gravity, all knowing, pulls me to stay close to you.

My hands still reaching.

There will be no flying today.

Our make-believe airplane grounded.

Commemorated permanently.

Now only memory.

THE MOON

You are still you.

A wink here and there.

The charmer.

Only now too weak to tell your stories.

I worry I won’t remember my favorite one.

But my fear of disturbing your peace prevents me from asking you to retell it.

My favorite and your favorite to tell when I was young.

The story of a boy and his two dogs, Blackie and Whitie.

I wonder if it was one you made up.

Just for us.

Or maybe one grandma told you.

Somehow the story ends with the moon.

I think that’s why I love looking up at it.

Why it always reminds me of Blackie and Whitie.

And why when you go it will always remind me of you.

QUIET

I don’t need much.

Just sit with me, old friend. 

Words won’t help.

I can’t hear them right now.

We’ll need to check in later to see if I ever did get back ‘hearing words again’. 

You can hold my hand.

I won’t mind.

This only if you’re okay with crying. 

I mostly likely will.

I don’t need much.

Just this.

A short quiet moment.

Before fear creeps back in.

COURAGE

I wouldn’t mind this forever.

Maybe if I wish it hard enough.

You sleeping.

Me gazing up at the ceiling hearing you breathe.

For a moment everything is okay.

I’m here with you after all, Dad.

I’m most courageous with you.

But my brave second comes and then quickly goes.

I am not courageous.

I know what’s coming.