The old man walks, slowly, with a wobble. He is thin and frail.
He sometimes falls asleep, mid-thought.
He says things in answer
to questions asked long ago.
The old man is grumpy and impatient.
He often roars at the world
and snaps at those closest to him.
Do they not see?
This old man was young, like they are.
He was strong, stronger than most of them.
Do they not know?
he has worked hard at mutiple jobs,
and became a nurse who saved many lives.
There dances a young ballerina who,
when she was five
was crushed by a tree after a hurricane.
All of her insides were out on the ground,
but he saved her.
And now she is over twenty.
He has built beautiful furniture
with his own two hands.
He has always repaired things himself.
He has built gardens
and raised poultry
and produced more food than his family could eat.
He has titles and accomplishments.
He won medals in track
And The Silver Gloves.
This old man has thoughts
and still dreams of a life
where everyone he loves
is happy and fulfilled.
The old man who walks slowly with a wobble
is not so very old.
He tries to get back to his health
though the obstacles continue to arise.
He wants to be full of life.
He wants to be afforded dignity.
Though he snaps and growls
it is from pain, and anger
at the loss of his strength,
and frustration of knowing that
no one is safe from the very same fate.
Cancer does not discriminate.
The old man who walks with a wobble
may be stubborn.
His decisions are up for debate,
but in his mind he believes
his choices are correct and made with integrity.
Save a prayer for this grouchy old man
who walks with a wobble,
for like you, he tries to live each day
to his best potential.
And, like you, he would give anything,
not to have that wobble.
Lynn Deering 1954-2020