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Too Little Too Late

August 19, 2020

There’s cowardice inside that refused to want to accept the reality- as it were, and for the longest time, I’ve been able to separate myself from the pain that sat dormant. It wasn’t an admission of the truth of what was happening, but the pure effects of life as it slowly leaked out of a man. Within the last four or five years, maybe it was only three, my Grandfather laid in my old bedroom, breathing, eating, and soiling himself. Not the most well-liked man, but my blood just the same, and I refused to go see him. Not to say that I hadn’t ever, but the second time visiting my Mother’s house, I’d glance at the door, which was almost always ajar, and think about the man that was slowly withering away. It just hurt, he was a rambunctious man- even at his old age, to see the once stocky short man nothing but skin and bones. His muscles had wasted away. The skin on his face sunk into the groves of his… he was sick. No matter what the cause may be or what put him in this particular state, he was not well, and I knew that- so within my grasp of cowardice, I implored myself to remain at arm’s length. Further, in fact- for no reason other than the feeling and need to avoid any responsibilities to my own feelings. To the memory of a person, a person that has been almost absent or abrasive for as long as I could remember.

Just a simple act to show a human being compassion, and I failed to do so for selfish reasons. I don’t know what he thought about me, and I always assumed the worst because there was no communication between us.

So, when I finally saw him, just hours before he passed, it was a shock. The emaciated man that seemed to be skin and bones was even thinner than I could have ever imagined, and he lacked color. A gray sliver and I could hardly stand there and look at him. His breathing was shallow, and his hands gripped tightly to a couple washcloths.  He was just there, clinging to life for… I can’t imagine what there would be to cling to when movement and sensations dampened, let alone thought. He was alive. He could think, and he knew that there were people in a room with him- except I was not one of those people in the room that he could have seen. He could have even thought about who I was If I were there, but I hid away. I’m sure he could hear me, and maybe even recognize my voice as somebody who he once knew.

There is no changing that past, and visiting him wouldn’t have held him out longer. I just wish I would have been stronger to have given him some human decency.

From → Rants

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