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When I think about how it was, it hard to put into words. I drift back into the memories often. Just as I pretend that the small electric fireplace is a wood burning one, I close my eyes and imagine that I am no longer in this old chair. I imagine that I am back in California waiting tables, or at my aunts house playing cards. But mostly, I remember you. I remember your voice, your smile. I remember it as it was when you were 28 years old, and I was 23. That was so long ago. It doesn’t feel that long ago. Just yesterday, it must have been. However I am 95 years old, and my life then was so different than it is now. I close my eyes and remember. There was a time when I was free, now I’m just free and lonely. There was a time when the wind whipped my hair, and the sun burnt my cheeks. I would run down the beach as fast as my legs would take me. I no longer can walk, but what my legs can’t do my mind remembers. I remember watching the sunset with you. Your eyes held my heart, and your smile held my future. I remember being in love. I remember touching your skin. I remember your voice, your whisper. Those memories and the framed photos keep me company. There is a picture of us horseback riding in Nevada. The photo is black and white, but I remember the details in color. I can see your blue jeans, the ones that matched your eyes and the sky. My hair was the color of the sun that day as it shone down on us at ninety eight degrees Fahrenheit. You fell off of the horse that day, and I laughed at you because the only thing that was hurt was your pride. I think that the nursing support staff thinks that I am just a deaf old lady. They come and give me my pills, and get my laundry. They come in and out of my little apartment at the nursing home doing their tasks, reminding me of meal times and activities that are planned for the day. They take good care of me, but they don’t get to know me. But it’s ok. I remember being young once, I was never going to grow old. I felt sorry for the elderly. I was never going to grow old. I was never going to stop running, stop dancing. You were never going to leave my side. You were never going to die. I always imagined that I would forever hear your laughter, your jokes. But my ears can no longer even hear the people who share a lunch table with me. I guess all of those “nevers” actually came true instead. However, I am content. I thank The Lord for being so good to me, for giving me a beautiful life. Now I just pray that He takes me home. I know that you are in heaven waiting patiently for me.
He wants to leave, to desert it all. The hurt. The disappointment. It’s all too much to handle. He wants it all to end. The nights are endless. He won’t be happy until the present is in his past, until the hard times are in the rear view. He wants so bad to run, to run away. But he doesn’t. He presses on, he presses on. He was so weak until he fell on his knees. With renewed strength, he presses on.
If I was your superhero, I would be there. Don’t cry, don’t cry. I would fight your demons. I would guard your door. Don’t cry, don’t cry. I would be strong for you, I would fight for you. Don’t cry, don’t cry. If I was your superhero, I would protect you. Don’t die, don’t die. I would save you, I would save you. Don’t die, don’t die.
FLASH FICTION FOR THE PURPOSEFUL PRACTITIONER- 2017