Plus - Appreciation

The days are numbered

S. T. Jayasinghe - A tribute to my father on his 84th birthday (05.02. 2010)

“I don’t think I’ll last long.”
“Why?” I asked in a quivering tone;
“I have a feeling I’ll soon be gone.”
“Do you?” I queried uneasily.
“I don’t have the strength any more,
No zest for living, as of yore;
I think my days are numbered.”
You finished with a smile so faint.

My voice choked with emotion;
I measured my words:
“We still want you to be around.”
You turned to me your
Once handsome face –round and proud,
But now thin and sagging;
Hearing was vague, so I repeated.
You looked at me and smiled:
“I know, but there should be an end.”
Yes, I agreed reluctantly.
“Maybe we are selfish,
It’s against Samsara,
The Circle of Life and Death.”

You agreed, nodding slowly.
We waited in the bliss of silence;
Time seemed to have stopped.
“You don’t have regrets or worries;
Neglect and need are not your companions.”
“Yes, I am lucky I had more than I wished for;
I am blessed with many things.”

I was happy to hear that
There was contentment.
The end came many months later.
The unavoidable reality,
The dreaded moment,
The end of pain and suffering.

One Wednesday, in the wee hours,
The telephone buzzed, melancholy;
The news from the hospital
Was that you were gone.
With the tears I shed, I knew
A vital part of me, or us, was gone,
Never to return.
But the memories linger –
And that affectionate smile.

Savithri Jayasinghe Cooray

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