The man is old now, with
wrinkles creasing his tired, worn face. His cheeks are sunken,
the skin on his face sagging from the ungraciousness of the years.
The eyes are steel-gray, glassy much of the time, but still twinkling
brilliantly whenever he hears or says something he considers clever.
His frail, emaciated body
seems too feeble to support his lengthy frame, the flesh having
withered away from his limbs and torso. He has arms that are not
much thicker than his wrists; the flesh which is left is without
a trace of firmness. His hands are very lean and bony, with the
jutting veins easily discernible beneath the flimsy hide.
When he attempts to put
a spoon to his mouth while eating, his hand trembles and shakes,
which is noticeably upsetting and frustrating to him, and he disgustingly
casts the spoon to the floor.
Often his chin is home
for the white, stiff stubble that is his beard, elongating his
face, and giving him an even greater appearance of gauntness.
His hair is silvery-gray, brushed straight back off his forehead.
As he walks slowly across
the room, his bony hands reach out for the support of the wall
to steady himself, and his feet seem to shuffle across the floor
in short, halting steps. He doesn't stand erect anymore; his six-foot-tall
frame arches ever so slightly.
The voice is soft now,
but still firm and commanding when he wants it to be, and often
a hint of hoarseness is detectable as he speaks. Still, it doesn't
matter how hard his body resists him, for this man's spirit, pride,
and determination will never abandon him.
In Memory of My Grandfather
July 24, 1908 - February 5, 1981