She comes on Wednesday evenings
The night her mother teaches Yoga
She makes sure that I get some dinner then
We watch some show on the DVR that I've already seen,
Such as Dexter or Rectify;
She and I have always had similar tastes
That's how I can tell it gives her a very bad taste to see me in this condition,
Walking on a cane
She was born way too early and I could hold her in my left hand like a little bird.
Now that hand flutters at my side; useless.
I am useless. I couldn't defend her from an angry child; let alone a real menace.
Luckily, my cognitive abilities seem to be about the same so we can still make jokes
About other matters, of course
Because what is going on with me is certainly not funny
The withering away of the strong father who used to carry her half the places she went.
Knowing that now, if I fell, she would not be able to help me up off of the ground
We would have to call a neighbor or the local firemen just down the street.
They have been here before so it would be a familiar address
How I want to get up and dance a jig in order to show her that I have several years left.
But we both know that's not true
What neither of us know is exactly how the end will come.
I suspect that it will wind up with me in a coma and I have plainly instructed my wife to disallow
Feeding tubes or any other artificial devices, so I have told my only child that if or when this happens and it ends up with starvation,
That it was my idea; not the idea of her mother, even though we have put in place all sorts of living wills and powers of attorney.
Which means she could change her mind when that time comes.
I wouldn't know anything about it,
But I suspect she would honor my wishes no matter how uncomfortable it makes the two of them:
The only two things in my life which turned out flawlessly.
How beautiful they both are: It's a beauty which makes me cry shamelessly.
As the Goat Man in “Rectify” says, "It's the beauty that hurts you most; not the ugly."
But if I start crying, it makes them cry, too, so I try to be steely and cold and regard all of this
As part of a process which has been going on long before she was born and, unfortunately, it will go on long after I'm gone,Even for both of them,
Ouch! That is unthinkable; please erase that thought from my head.
"Degeneration" is such a great word for this,
Because my wife and I aren't from the same generation, either.
So I will be the last remaining thread of the Baby Boom generation from this family.
That thread will be pulled out but the fabric will survive; In fact, It may not be a noticeable loss after a couple of years.
Only the person still wearing the garment might notice the need for a very small patch.