Just a short walk

Earlier tonight, i commented on a post by Janet… she had told of helping her older neighbors by walking their dog… that’s all i know about the entire thing, but it planted a seed in my head and the words just tumbled out, almost faster than I could write them… and my Father showed me a morning with my dad, when he was older and more feeble… anyone who knows him will recognize him… and anyone who doesn’t know him personally will recognize him… because his generation is everywhere…  we just usually choose not to see it… Father, help me treat others as I want my parents to be treated… with love and compassion, help and healing, conversation and company… let me serve you, LORD…. Anyway, without the Holy Spirit, my words alone cant possibly do it justice, so, if you’re willing, whether you believe in it or not, try to see it through the eyes of the spirit… here goes…
The wind rattled his bones just as hard as it rattled the windows, the shingles, the siding and the half-broken porch swing, dangling by one chain, that he just wasn’t able to fix.  Not thinking about the things he could no longer do… at least trying not to think about them, he took a deep breath and began the process of getting out of bed.  What, once upon a few decades ago, would have been quick and easy was now slow and painful.  He had tried looking at getting up in the morning like yanking off a bandage… quick and painful, but over soon… well, it wasn’t quick, but it was painful… and the soreness lasted for three days… so he’d stuck to slow and easy so he could get downstairs to breakfast.  He looked at his wife, still sleeping, and thought of how different it used to be… how more able he was to protect her and take care of her… of course that didn’t diminish his love and devotion to her… she was a strong and steady force in his life and he knew he didn’t want to live without her and selfishly, yet shamelessly, prayed, as he had ever since he laid eyes on her,  that he would go first…  he shook his head, a habit he’d picked up along the way, and took his first unsteady steps of the morning and went in the direction of the bathroom to wash his face and stuff before he went downstairs for the day.  He thought of the bathroom downstairs by the kitchen and remembered toying with the idea of expanding it into a full size bath.. of thinking how convenient it would be… he went back down the hall, passing his bedroom on the way and noticed that she had turned over… knowing she would be up soon and looking for some coffee, he made his way down the stairs, looking out over the foggy meadow toward the road… beautiful, he thought… he moved into the kitchen, glancing, as he put the kettle on to heat, toward the tiny, useless bathroom… but that was a long time ago and he couldn’t do it now even if he still wanted to… and that galled him some, still.  That, even though he does want to, he wants to very badly, he can’t…  he stirred cream into his coffee, then looked toward the stairs to make sure Flo wasn’t there, then put extra.. he sipped and sighed, then went back to his thoughts… he can’t expand the bathroom, he can’t fix the roof, he can’t mow the yard, he can’t drive… he can barely walk, even on level ground… sometimes, where his garden used to grow, he stands and gazes toward the mountain… longing to walk a ways so he can feel the breath of the wind on his face that he can’t get here on this flat ground… shaking his head,  he turned toward the east window and watched the day burst open… nothing he can do with it now anyway… he’s just too old… he feels the depression, always just a breath away, threatening to swallow him if he’ll just give in… but give in?  no way…  he’ll be there as long as his time lasts.. and when he’s done, he’ll go to Heaven… he’s never doubted that… no, he murmurs to himself, he’d never doubted that, but he also hadn’t looked ahead to reality… to becoming feeble… he just wished he were stronger… like in the old days…  But, there was trouble in the days of strength, as there is with anytime… and as he stood in the kitchen with the light of the sunrise pouring into the window, he realized that, though his body is weaker, his mind, his heart and his spirit are stronger than ever… He nods at the day and walks through the house toward the front door.  He heard the first bang of the hammer as he opened the screened door and walked onto the porch…  he heard the footsteps overhead as his roof was repaired before winter… he wasn’t able and he wasn’t rich… and God, faithful God, had, as always, provided… He thanked Him for the young men who lived nearby and had offered to do some work around the house… they were photographers and were willing to trade mountain time for hard labor… to help him and his wife  It was, he realized as he listened to the good-natured banter of youth, a good day to walk… just a little ways… into the mountain… he yanked on the new chain on the porch swing, now hanging sturdy and straight,as he opened the screened door then went back in the kitchen, fixed two cups of coffee, both with just a touch of cream, and creaked his way back up the stairs to see if his wife was up to a walk…  just a short walk, of course…

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