Hardly Living

To be in peak health and die in your sleep, unaware

of a painless passing, this is the way I would hope to go.

I found out last night that a friend from my college days

passed away after ten years living with Parkinson’s Disease.

Living.  That pain and slow wasting away, I can’t imagine.

Ten years of living life to the fullest torn from her in pieces.

Not seconds, days, or even months.  Ten long years

of declining quality of life with the knowledge there is

no cure for this inevitable descent into no speech,

no movement, the loss of everything but, cruelly, being aware

of the horror happening to you every moment you count down.

Don’t tell me about living life as best we can despite our circumstances.

That’s easy to say about someone else, how they can soldier through.

I wonder what your outlook would be if it happened to you?

A stiff upper lip, you say?  Parkinson’s can give you that, too.

Ten years of her life, lived like this, was ten years stolen, nothing else.


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