Telephone Ring

October 28, 2008
The telephone ring penetrating my soul,
Its terrifying meaning I know, deep down, though I try to conceal,
The chilling truth in my father's voice as we hasten to the hospital,
My elderly grandfather, bed-ridden,
Twenty four hours left, that is all,
Though very small, he has no choice.
It pains me to look into his glistening eyes,
A mask atop his wrinkly face,
His ancient heart beating, weakly,
A shiny, metallic machine inside a pure, timeless heart.
I open my mouth to speak, but what to say?
To say goodbye, 'I love you',
As if to a departing soldier,
I tumble into my mother, sobbing.
My grandfather before me, not told of his fate,
But aware, I am sure.
I struggle for calm, feebly smiling through torrential tears,
My grandfather's muffled voice struggling to be heard.
'I love you Alexandra; I want you to know that,'
My tears overflow, his grip strengthens, our hands entwined,
I dare not leave, to return to the harbor of home,
Knowing that soon, he will not be there.
I must be a tower of strength in this moment,
To surround him with family, all he can ask for.
My wandering mind, photographs flicker,
His favorite Whopper Junior, his twinkling eyes,
The arrival in Chicago, his home, the last visit
Four brothers and sisters, all welcoming,
As if it was the final visit.
His never-ending appetite and youthful glow, rushing everywhere, always hurrying,
The rumble of his walker, the way his 'Hiya,' could brighten anyone's day.
A living legend of almost a century, nearly 92.
But time not a friend now.
But now he must look time in the eye,
For too little hope is left.
And as I have far too little time left with you,
The lessons from my grandfather resonate within,
To accept what is beyond your control, cherishing this moment,
Every moment, for in the end,
The seconds, the memories, the pieces comprising your soul,
Only those remain.
That I may leave a legacy like his,
Alexandra, a force to be reckoned with, to be remembered,
Just like her Grandpa Pete.

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