Fragility and Frailty

My father found in work his pride,
It was man’s duty to provide.
Working two jobs left him stressed;
Between was just four hours rest.

He’d never find time to unwind
Until a stroke had dulled his mind.
He lingered for some years before
They found him on the bathroom floor.

In coma for a month in bed,
The doctors declared him brain dead.
Retired living is a lie.
Live your life before you die.

My friend Paul was nonchalant
Running a shop he didn’t want.
He’d work and strive with little passion
To pay for his dream house expansion.

Each kid would have rooms of their own;
For him, a wet bar underground.
But when it finished, he got ill.
His health went rapidly downhill.

The leukemia took his life,
left four kids and a grieving wife.
Retired living is a lie.
Live your life before you die.

My wife’s dad was paralyzed.
His talking was through blinking eyes.
He died on an ambulance gurney
On a late night transfer journey.

Now her uncle suffers, too.
His labored gestures now are few.
He cannot do what he enjoyed:
A stroke had robbed his singing voice.

This is why life cannot wait
Till twilight years; that might be late.
For who knows when we’ll say goodbye?
We’ll see the world before we die.


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