Strength | Teen Ink


April 5, 2012
By XpurplemacaroniX GOLD, Hagerstown, Maryland
XpurplemacaroniX GOLD, Hagerstown, Maryland
10 articles 1 photo 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."

You gather your strength, using your hands
to positions your legs in just the right way
so that maybe
for a split second
they won’t cave in under your weight.
You slide yourself forward, sitting
right on the edge of the seat,
stretching out your arm
to grip the far armrest of
your only mode of transportation
to the second floor.
You only want to get to your bed,
so that maybe, for just
a little while,
you can travel to a place
where gravity
isn’t so horribly cruel.
You can do it.
All you have to do
is get from this chair
to that one.
You brace yourself, placing
your left hand
on this armrest, the one
that’s always so uncomfortable
against the inside of your
upper arms
when you have to strain the muscles there
to propel yourself forward.
It takes so much effort to hoist
yourself up,
just a tiny bit,
with only your arms,
But you do it.
Ok, just pull with your right arm,
and swing with your abdomen;
It’s only a matter of inches.
Please, legs.
Just for a single second.
You can do it.
You have to do it.
You’re almost there.
But your legs
don’t comprehend,
and your weakened arms give out
just centimeters from your destination.
You crash to the floor,
your cushion-less bones
making an unpleasant sound
as they come in contact with
the merciless wooden floor.
But it’s alright,
because your tired body
is too far gone to comprehend it.
Why is it that you can’t get up?
You can’t even hold yourself
and your arms are little help
in slowing your
awkward backward flop.
The only other person home
is napping;
they’ve had a long day.
You mustn’t disturb their rest –
They deserve it.
So you lay there
on the cold
ground, and
you silently scream
the same question, over and over:
Why Me?
Tears flood your eyes – No,
you must not cry.
What right do you have
to feel sorry for yourself?
You must not be any more of a burden
than what you
already are.
You must always continue
to smile;
after all, things could surely
be worse.
So you lie there,
and numb
until another gets home,
and rushes to your aid.
The concept of getting up off this floor
without being lifted
is something that you can hardly
even imagine
Even the feeling
Of accomplishing the simple task
of raising one of your plastic cups
to your lips
is something you’ve nearly forgotten.
Because now your arms,
despite the relative strength they’ve acquired
after years of insisting
on moving about
on your own,
always fail you now
as continuous spasms
make even pressing a button
on a keyboard
a painstaking task.
And fate hasn’t even been kind enough
To take your vision from you.
So day after day, you watch
the sadness
and frustration
of the ones around you,
aware of what they see
when they look into your eyes.
You know it too.
That you are slipping
farther and farther
away from them.
You get to look upon
their tear stained faces,
and see the tears roll down
their beautiful cheeks;
the ones that you can steady your hand
enough to reach out and caress them
Only sometimes.
And sometimes
they are too far away
to reach.
They’re right over there,
and if you were just
a little less tired,
a little bit stronger,
you could go over there and be with them.
But you can’t.
And you
Hate yourself for it.
Because surely
if you called out to them,
it would only be a bother
to have them come to you.
You can’t let this loneliness consume you.
These beloved faces;
you must be sturdy for them.

But even though your eyes
still work alright,
you don’t see what I see
Do you?
You think you’re weak;
what a preposterous notion.
I’ve almost grown strong enough
to lift you off this floor myself,
and yet
you are
one hundred
one thousand
times stronger
than I will ever,
Ever be.
You, who can’t even lift yourself
back into the chair
that towers above you,
can lift my spirits
with nothing
but a single smile.
When I, in my
infinite selfishness
allow myself to burst into tears,
you are always there
with your selfless smile
telling me how much you love me;
even when I’m hiding in my room
so that you won’t see.
You are
My inspiration.
You are
Everything I aspire to be.
You are
Ten thousand times stronger
than all those guys who spend all day
toning their bulging muscles
You are
the one person
who treats every word I say
like a treasure
And is always digging for more.
And despite all the outward
You are
by having someone like you
to pick me up
when I fall,
I am
The luckiest girl in the world.

The author's comments:
Written for, inspired by, and based completely off my father, the strongest man in the world, even if the record books don't give him credit. I tried to write it from his point of view, based on what I see every day of my life, but I know there's no way I could ever fully comprehend what it would be like to be a prisoner in my own body, when practically every little motion that everybody else takes for granted is something I only wish I was capable of. See, it isn't the ability to continue on that makes a person strong; it's the ability to keep on smiling.

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