I watched as his feeble chest rose and fell, remembering the evenings we spent in the recliner together sharing popcorn. His breaths were as carefree as they were when we rode horses each year on Thanksgiving.
He was not the same, though. I hadn't heard him speak in days. His labored wheezes haunted me in my sleep.
That invincible man was crumbling slowly. I watched helplessly as the cancer crumbled the image of my childhood hero, weakening his body into nothing that resembled Poppa.
As I stared at the ceiling tiles, counting slowly to pass the time and praying I would look down and hear his laugh, I heard the doctor's strong footsteps come around the corner.
"Ladies, we need you to make a decision," he stated with insincere compassion.
We huddled together, sweeping away one another's tears gently until there were too many tears to wipe away.
We already knew the answer. That strong willed stubborn man who taught me so much would never want to be lying in the bed helpless and distressed like he was.
With one last breath, he was gone.
There would be no more suffering for him.
There would be no more horse back rides to the gas station to buy ice cream for me.
He would not be in pain any longer.
Our pain was just beginning.
As tears flooded my eyes, I glanced outside to see that rain was pouring down the window panes.
In that instant I knew, never again would I stand beside him at the water trough, washing our boots as he smiled and told me he loved me.
Thankfully, I don't need the water hose or his voice to know he did.
This post was written in response to the prompt by The Red Dress Club, based on your response to a photo of a sprayer on a water hose. As always, constructive criticism is welcomed.