by Dane Zito
(This was written by a high school senior and friend of my late step-son Louie, who passed away in February at the age of 27 from muscular dystrophy. We have all been touched by his maturity, writing talent and profound compassion. He gave me permission to share this with you.)
The sun illuminated the landscape ahead as we approached
the neighborhood lake, your wheelchair bulldozed
the blades of grass.The wooden bench comforted me,
the branches above protecting us,but your body
still becoming weaker. Yet, you always made me laugh.
The battery on your wheelchair glowed green; full power.
The clouds cart wheeled in front of the sun, the air
becoming colder,as you grew old. Your brittle fingers
struggled to text as we sat staring at the water.
We observed our friends swim and play but I always chose
to stay with you. The eye of the birds stared at us,
as if they were listening to us talk. The battery meter
on your wheelchair flashed yellow, losing power.
The sun battled the clouds, the rays narrowed through the sky,
the grass accepting the light the sun provided. You were hungry
so I fed you,cutting your food into bite size pieces you could
manage to eat. The straw pressed to your lips,
the liquid washing down your throat.The battery meter
on your wheelchair flickered orange, power halfway gone.
The sun jumped behind the lake sliding down the sky,
painting the sky red. Darkness nearly won but you kept fighting.
You had no energy to do anything but I would still see you.
The Xbox controller exploded when it hit the ground but I helped
you placing it back in your hands. The battery meter
on your wheelchair has now turned to red, low power.
Darkness painted the sky, the sun disappearing,
the clouds choking any light that was left. I cried.
My palms crushed my face not knowing what to do.
I miss you already, and now I understand what it is like to
be alone. We no longer could see the lake.
The battery meter on your wheelchair shows no color, no power.