Goodbye Jack

July 1, 2016

Jacks closed, wrinkled eyes start to open and his face brightens. His weathered hair almost covers his bald spot in the middle of his round head as he pulls the warm sheets off of him and slowly makes his way to the large kitchen, dragging his stiff bent legs that support his sore upper back. His large, worn out hands from years of being in the military and owning an old work shop open the creaky pantry door to reach to grab a few pieces of stale bread out of the crinkled plastic bag. His short, crooked bent toes are finally able to relax after standing on them to get the bread. One by one, Jack breaks off pieces of the bread and extends his old veined arms to throw the bread off the paint chipped deck. landing on the damp grass filled ground, the bread lightly falls into the backyard. Jack proceeds to make crow like "caws," as a flock of birds rush down and meet the pieces of bread on the grass, trying hard to grab as many pieces possible. Jack went about his day, going through his usual routine, consisting of grabbing the mail out of the old rusted mailbox, reading the morning news paper, getting the car started to take a trip to the store and walking down the rough carpeted stairs to let the non stop barking dog into the backyard.
Jack, who slept peacefully, woke up feeling terrible. All day he sat in his usual lounging chair, obviously worn out over the years, but cozy to the touch. Two days pass and he still sits in the same old chair, Jack knew it was coming because he was getting old and falling apart. At around 4:00 pm Jack woke up, dreading the expected car ride to the hospital. While he was being rushed into the car by his son, their hearts and minds were racing, worried of what was to come and how the day would end. As they quickly, but carefully, got out of the car and checked into Jack's hospital room, he got told to slip on a white, patterned hospital gown, and to lay on a cold, stiff bed, reminding him of the freezing, midnight air and hard, rock filled ground during the war. The doctor came into the empty, pale white hospital room, and told him about his body, explaining to him that his cancer had spread to his lungs and that he was expected to die that day. His daughter was reached on the phone and was told to immediately come down from Florida to see Jack before his passing, as well as other family members wishing to see him one last time. Jacks lungs began to ache and restrict him from being able to speak. Family members each came to visit him and his last hours. It pained Jack not being able to speak to his family and especially his wife; the best he could do was hold their hands and hope that it would be over soon. As his great-granddaughter immerged from the hallway, he could see her young and bright happy face turn into a worried, sobbing mess, like when the air is warm and the sun is out but a thunderstorm sweeps in and takes over, uncontrolled. Wishing he could comfort her and tell her that everything would be alright, all he could do was watch as she uncomfortably slouched on the opposite side of the room, pressing her face into her mother, his granddaughter. Time slowly passed and it was now time for his granddaughter and great-granddaughter, along with his wife, to leave. His great-granddaughter got the courage to give Jack a hug and kiss goodbye.  
On her way out, she sadly said, "Goodbye, grandpa. "Knowing it would be the last time that she would see, and talk to him. Jack replied with saying, "Goodbye." He was just as shocked as his granddaughter that he was able to speak at least one precious word to her.
After the final visitors, his daughter and son, arrived, he finally felt happy and reassured, knowing that he barely got the chance to see most of his loved ones. Later that night, Jack peacefully passed away with a soft smile left on his face and a welcoming remembrance of those who got the chance to know him and his kind, gentle personality.

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