I see the hands shake, and grow still.
I see the eyes sparkle, and become dull.
I see the bright smiles fade, and droop down.
I see the feet shuffle, and no more.

I hear the cracked chuckles, and pained wheezes soon.
I hear the soft humming, and hushed strains of a whisper.
I hear the, “Don’t do that!” and passive resignation too.
I hear the old stories, and cold silence once all their words are spent.

I feel their wrinkled hands, as we sit down for grace.
I feel their helplessness when they can’t lift the spoon.
I feel their joy when I smile towards them... The twinkle returns for a moment.
I feel their passion to hold on to what they have left.

I know what they have seen in life, or at least I think I do.
I know that they are not what they used to be, and the frustration that builds inside.
I know that their bodies are failing them, even the walk to dinner can be too far.
I know how hard it must be to not know where they are, or why all their food is now mush.
I know that they are strong–much stronger than they look–but strength can only go so far.

I see when they’re not there anymore; their shaking smiles and sparkling eyes are simply gone.
I hear no more their well aged laugh, or complaints about my upstart ways.
I feel their leathered palms no more, not even pressed into mine for one last shake.
I know they are gone, so many are gone, and there is no bringing them back.