ending the walk at nautilus teachings


she could not walk
no matter
how hard she tried…
sure therapy helped
having someone
hold her up was ok
but her legs
had left her long ago
and now
as she sat
in the shadows
of the corner
of her rehab facility
she wept…
“i want to go home, Lord…
please, please let me die…”
her legs had served her well
for all of her life…
short and stout
a little thick around
her middle
she had lived a tough life
yet through it all
she found strength
to fight
and cuss
oh how she missed
wonderful conversations
she loved telling stories
always dropping the
‘f’ bomb
whenever she could
laughing til her belly hurt
lips curved up
til they ached for release
from happiness
those were the days…
sitting poolside with
her son
sipping on a cocktail
playing ball with the dogs
while he cooked her
dinner upon his grill…
mommy !

she sat alone
for many hours
in a room
with none of
her belongings
not even a photograph
only what memories
she had to keep
her company…
twice a week
they would visit
twice a week
she would fight
to walk
show them her strength
tell them
“i’m feeling strong,
i am working hard…
i know i will walk again…”
and then
they were gone
and she could once more
sob uncontrollably
for a life
not understanding
why she remained breathing…
breakfast, lunch and dinner
were served to her
her butt was wiped
diapers changed
three times a week
she got a bath
one hour a day she
was in therapy
and the rest
she sat
in silence
to the white sound
of the television
over and over
her reality-
her life was over…

she really
did not want to walk
she wanted to die
she didn’t want
people to spend
money on her
or have to come visit
how could she not
feel like a burden?
she knew they loved her
she knew they would miss her
but this was not
how she wanted to be
she was a prisoner
of her body
and wanted release…
they knew this
so they tried to make her laugh
to rub her feet
touch her hands
brush her hair
small things really,
but as she aged
she was touched
less and less
and her spirit
just sort of flattened out
needing nothing
so she decided
to give nothing back
that was not demanded
upon her…
she sits
in rehab,
while they fight insurance
to keep her there,
when what
she really wants them to know
“i want to go home…
i am tired of fighting…
just let me live the rest
of my life
in my chair
at pineapple gardens
with all my friends…
i don’t want to walk
i want to go home…”
do you think they hear her?
are they really listening
to her silent nods
and conformity?
are they truly fooling
themselves into believing
she will walk again?

i know she wants
to not disappoint her son
i know he wants her to walk
i know she will never
tell him the truth
i know he is hurting
at the thought of never
seeing her again…
what i also know
is i am done fighting
to give her something
she does not want.
yes, she tells her son
“yes, i want to walk…”
and then she looks at me
rolls her eyes
as they fill with tears
and i close mine
praying to God
to release her
and take her
home to Him…
how long will she sit?
how many days will
rehab hold her?
if it was up to me
i would check her out
take her home
and just let her
be free from the burden
of a life
she has already
left behind…