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When the fall came we knew everything had changed. Whispers through the Aspens became a shrill voice of winters warning. He was changing like the seasons. They didn’t understand it at first but it became more apparent as time went on. The old man was tied to a cycle and that cycle was the changing of the seasons. In the fall he was anticipatory and melancholy. Sometimes irritable and other times reflective of his life. He had lived here for 20 years. Twenty years in a nursing home…who would do that to a man? But he took it all in and lived on despite the wrongs done to him. He was usually a gentlemen but he had his temper and God hope you weren’t working that shift. Christ. But as time went along he came and went and we all got used to the cycle. And he didn’t seem to notice. He had cancer and it was going to kill him. Sooner or later. He was working on later.
He used to say, “There is a spring that flows eternal, and I am swimming in that spring." He told us he would out live all of us and see us in that spring if we were good people. I’m not sure how good or bad I am but I would like to see him in that spring, if only for moment in time.
I can’t do it anymore. I can’t go and see the old man. He's almost gone and I don’t know what say to him. Brown tobacco stains run down his chin and he’s all dressed up on like them old people. It hurts me. It really hurts me. He is my future and my end and my beginning. It’s a cycle that was invented by a sadist. But he lives on. And I think of that spring and wonder when I will be swimming in it one day. Will I see him and all my children? Will I be able to locate my dogs? I hope so. For living on earth is heaven but crossing the river and getting to the other side in one whole piece must be paradise. I pray for those around me. And I hope that I have not done too much wrong that will keep me in this dark place I loath.
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