Christine M. Grote

The look on his face continues to haunt me today.

I see in my mind what I witnessed yesterday—my dad struggling to walk , his hands gripped tight to his walker, his legs shaking, and his eyes finding mine across the room, his right eye open wider than his left, piercing mine with its intensity. I interpret the expression on his face as one of desperation and terror.

Has his conscious woken up and found him in this condition? I wonder.

“It’s okay,” I say. “You’re doing alright.”

“I’m proud of you, Daddy.”

And I am proud of him. Of every mountain he has to climb just to drag his uncooperative body from the bed, to sit and stand, to walk a few shaky steps across the room to his wheelchair. I am proud of how hard he tries and how he keeps going when he may want to just…

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