I doze in a reclining chair,
At her bedside, through each long night.
It comforts her to know I’m there,
Even though I can’t make things right.
Too weak to ring the nurses’ bell,
Tracheostomy mutes her speech.
To communicate, she must spell
From a chart pointing fingers reach.
Her strength fails after months in bed,
Till but one arm she can partly raise.
Myositis, disease to dread,
Debilitates in subtle ways.
A bedsore causes her great pain,
While raw rash irritates her back.
Creams, salves and such are spread in vain,
For effective measures we lack.
The expensive bed helps little,
Despite costly technology.
Her spine still sets in the middle,
The fulcrum causing misery.
Through a stomach tube, she is fed,
Never more to savor food’s taste.
Remaining days confined to bed,
Seeing her body laid to waste.
A catheter drains her urine,
And soiled diapers the aides replace.
Indignities she’s enduring,
Yet she maintains majestic grace.
The respirator hums nearby,
Rythymically aiding each breath,
Without which, she will surely die,
Yet, such a life is worse than death.
She asks that we just let her go,
And we accept that she knows best.
Much as we yearn to answer, “No”,
We agree to her last request.