just ponderin'

… on my missing piece

missing piece

Every day, twice a day, for three weeks exactly, to the day…

I would go to the hospital where Grampa, my Old Yankee Man, was staying.

Every day, twice a day, for three weeks exactly, to the day…

I rang a buzzer outside of large, white doors.  There were scuff marks on the bottom of one of them.

The doors would open, and I would step inside.

Sometimes with a beautiful German ShepHerd…

Sometimes with a coffee in my hand…

or a stash of jelly donuts in a brown paper bag.

Once I brought a strawberry shake.

He loved it.

Took four whole sips that day.

My visits were awful and wonderful and funny and tragic, sometimes all at once.

Sometimes one at a time.

Yesterday, late in the afternoon, he opened his eyes, and looked into mine.

My Old Yankee Man sighed that he was so tired.

So, so tired.

And I stroked his head, with its fuzzy white hairs.

“Then you gotta go.” I said

“I’m just so tired.”

“We’ll be okay.” I whispered.

We’ve got this.

And early this morning, he did go.

On his terms.

In his way.

And though I am so happy for him, that he doesn’t have to live his life in a way that he never wanted to…

That he is released from his very broken brain…

I am aware.

That my life is missing a piece.

How ironic.

That the man who helped me piece together a family, by ushering me into his…

Is now missing.

And yet I can still hear him clearly.

Feel him nearby.

As he always was, but for these three short weeks, that once felt interminably long.

My Old Yankee Man.

I love him.

I miss him.

I am forever grateful to him.

And I will carry him in my heart and spirit always.

Thanks for readin’.

missing piece

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Elena Peters

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