This was originally posted on Teacups and Time. It was my last post before I lost access.
He sits alone.
He has for the last three days.
He never asks for much but people like him never do.
He has taken care of himself for the last eighty plus years. It isn't in him to ask for help, which is probably why he sits here now in a wheelchair after his second fall in less than six months that required a surgical repair.
He tries to be strong but you can see it in his eyes.
He is worried the Mrs. doesn't want him back home. She has said as much. Joking, I think. I hope. Yet, he sits alone, again. So, I am not so sure she was laughing.
In him I see what I fear, loneliness and loss in my ancient years. It's the blight that infertility has left on my spirit.
Don't get me wrong, I am realistic enough to know that children aren't a magical guarantee against loneliness. Nevertheless, an empty quiver provides no protection at all.
In this meeting, I am confronted with what I do not want to encounter. Not now. not here. Not with a stranger. So, I avoid. This moment is not about me. It is about him.
He tries to talk. I can tell it isn't easy. Not for him. Not for me.
His chin quivers as he weakly smiles through jagged teeth. He speaks, hesitantly and softly, "Today --- (sniff) --- is --- our 59th --- wedding --- anniversary." Quickly, he looks away. So, must I. Neither one of us can see the others tears.
His for what he is missing now - the fears of an ancient.
Me for what his missing means - my ancient fears.