One word prompt: Shallow
Grandpa had a fall on Wednesday morning. That’s always what they say when it’s over: he had a fall. It’s something that happens to all of us from time to time; not to long ago I fell when I tripped on a step in the dark. That’s different from having a fall, though. Having a fall means it’s bad.
He was diagnosed 18 years ago, and we thought he beat it. Then, just a year ago, he had a relapse and the cancer came back. In the last few months all he could do was watch TV. His dinner consisted of some bread and a gin and tonic. I laugh about it now.
I met my grandmother in the lobby at the hospital. “I just want to warn you, Grandpa looks very bad.” Her voice was shaking. “His heart just won’t stop.”
“Okay.” I hugged her.
“Do you want me to go in the room with you?”
“No. I’m okay.” I was 28 years old. I didn’t need an old woman’s help.
I entered the room. Grandpa looked like a skeleton with skin and a little hair. He was breathing fast, in shallow gasps.
I leaned in and touched his head. There used to be hair. “It’s okay to go. Stop being so stubborn,” I whispered.
That’s how we used to talk.