When She Turned 53

Her mind continues to visit that last day. Her last birthday. He is slumped on a dirty broken recliner. Wild uncombed hair standing up mad falling forward on his head. Red and blue striped pullover stained with another days attempt at eating. His eyes are desperate. Pleading for help. God help him. He can’t swallow and the nurses tell me it’s the Alzheimer’s. natural progression of the disease. They use this excuse to neglect him. To turn a blind eye and a deaf ear on this sweet gentle soul who spent his entire life loving and helping other people in pain. He coughs and try’s to clear his throat. His tongue is pushing thick yellow green, almost brown, foul smelling mucus around his mouth trying to get it out. I slowly tentatively place my index finger between his teeth. He grits and grinds those teeth almost all the time anymore. I ask him “Daddy, please don’t bite me okay? I’m gonna try to help you Daddy. Don’t bite me” and he opens his mouth a little more for me, his eyes searching mine beseeching me for rescue from his living hell. My finger hooks into the rope of mucus so thick and heavy that it pulls back as I tug it up out of his throat. This. This ugly brownish yellow snake has been choking him for how long? Of course he can’t eat for Chrissake; he is slowly dying from neglect. And where have I been? Where oh where was I that was so very important that I wasn’t here to see to help to speak out. How many days had it been…

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2 thoughts on “When She Turned 53

  1. Wow! That was excellent storytelling! Very visual and moving. Reminds me of my hubby’s battle, and our trials, through throat/tongue cancer over the last three years.

    I didn’t know you are a writer or that you deal with chronic pain. No wonder we connected so well in such a short amount of time – when I “happened” upon the local yarn shop on my wonderful vacation just a couple weeks ago! Thinking of you this Tuesday night and remembering the fun I had at the shop with the knitting group! Wish I could be there.

    • Dottie, I thought I had answered your reply but I don’t see it here…
      Thank you for the kind and encouraging words. Yes, I think you and I have the makings of a good friendship. Regardless of distance 🙂

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