The Walk

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See my grandma has hip dysplasia, so she must walk with a cane to lessen the pain. To help her even more, I have her lean on my shoulder. But this cane was not any old cane it was a special one. One she kept near and dear, as remembrance of a loved one. This is the connection between daughter and father. It was her dad’s very old cane when he walked to her house to visit. They had a special bond, one you don’t see very often. When he was in the nursing home she used this Sheppard’s cane as stability, to tame her feelings of abandonment. The cane was like the whip to a lion, it was a control and a connection of tough love.
You could always tell or at least I could when she was not having a great day because she would grasp the hilt of it stronger as if needing or begging for more strength.
This happened one summer day when we descended down the aisle of the mortuary. I looked at each of the pews wondering which one we would sit in, since we arrived first. She leaned on me as we chose the first pew close to the casket. His suffering may have stopped but hers has just begun.
We sat and she clutched my hand for more endurance than I could give her at my age. I looked up at her seeing her face turn rosy. The connection of our hands allowed me to feel her pain. The sermon began and the grip became more intense as the speaker orated. I couldn’t pay attention to the orator; all I concentrated on was watching her face to see how red it would become. It reached its peak and as if a leak in the Hoover dam drops rolled down the side. It was cataclysmic, after seeing that my eyes became red with tears. The speaker finished and now we had to climb the hill together to say goodbye. We rose and began the climb, our relationship grew as we trudged, and we worked as a unit not as two.
We finally reached the summit and stood there looking at the perpetual casket. I didn’t have to look to see if she was crying, I felt it when her hand got colder. We bowed our head for the farewell prayer yet we didn’t feel him leave, we felt empowered. He never left us that day.
When she walks now, along my side she will always have her dad next to her as the snap of the cane hits the concrete.





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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

mharlan said...
Apr. 15, 2010 at 2:35 pm
I really enjoyed this Matt.  I felt as though I was in the room as well!
 
A.Alanis said...
Apr. 13, 2010 at 2:19 pm
Matt-  I could very well picture the scenario in my head. Great description!
 
DGarcia said...
Apr. 13, 2010 at 1:58 pm
Very powerful, Matt!
 
Bobbijo said...
Apr. 13, 2010 at 1:46 pm
This is a nice piece.  I really like the figurative language.  Good job.  Keep writing.
 
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