the blue chair at nautilus teachings

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the blue chair
is now empty…
when i first met ronnie
she was a spitfire
from new jersey-an only child
with 5 daughters
“i should be dead,”
she says
“my heart stopped
and they brought me back.
i don’t know why they did
so now this is my life,
right margie?”
she smiles at mom and they both smirk…
“it’s like this-
we sleep
we wet our pants
we eat
we sleep some more
watch tv
and repeat…
it’s not a bad life…”
her hands are busily
caressing her rosary…
all day she says
the Our Fathers
the Hail Mary’s
and each wednesday
she greets me with
beautiful, big, sad
brown eyes…
she wears a knit hat
sweater, socks and
wraps up in a blanket-

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i on the other hand
am in shorts and a tank top sweating…
mom loves her
she always says,
“ronnie protects me…”
and i think
‘protects you from what?’
but i don’t say anything
i just touch ronnie
bid her good morning
with a smile and
sit next to mom…
but yesterday
ronnie’s heart
let go
“she went in her sleep…”
says the director of
the home…
“now, today they will all be
depressed and sad,
each one saying,
‘that’s not fair, i want to go tooooooooooo.’
then they will shed tears
take their every day seat
and life will go on.
so we try and entertain them a little more
and get them laughing…
it’s a hard day for me,
i get so attached…”
i cannot imagine
her seat being empty
today when i visit mom…
part of me wonders
if the lady in the corner
who always wants to go
on an adventure
will have moved
and claimed
the famous blue chair
that once belonged
to ronnie…
i do know
i will walk in with a smile
greet each and every one of them
with a hug and a kiss…
i will take the time to listen
for they all have such
amazing stories to tell.
they want to share
what little life they have left
with each person they meet…
i giggle,
thinking to myself
you guys already know my story
so i better hope if it’s me one day
sitting
alone
in
a
home,
that i’m with strangers,
so i can regale them with
my adventures
in cocoa beach
of the crazy, artist,
midwestern girl
born into blue
and saved
by the handsome surfer dude
and the atlantic ocean…

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i liked ronnie
she loved the color blue
she was not afraid to say
how she felt…
and my favorite day?
was the day she was ‘on fire’
yelling at each person
who tried to sit
in her best friend
ouida’s chair…
“GET OUT OF THAT CHAIR
THAT’S NOT YOURS
IT OUIDA’S
SHES SICK TODAY
GET OUT OF THAT CHAIR!!!”
i still laugh
because she had to yell
at three different people
and each one
looked back at ronnie
shook their heads
and moved their behinds
as fast as their walkers
could take them…