There’s little left that I can do. My bones are weak, my strength is gone;
my days of lifting children high, of sending kites up to the sky, of playing softball on the lawn, of climbing sand dunes by the lake, of nailing shingles on a roof, of painting a gable, of planting a shrub, of trimming a tree, of being half the man I used to be.
I’ve thought about it a lot; questioning why I’m still around. I always felt, contemptuously, that if one takes up space without producing for the common good; without earning a place in the scheme of things, it’s time to go. And then a grandchild smiled and said, “Grandpa, can you help me with this?”
A neighbor needed me to fix a faucet. A stranger asked me to show him the way. I held the door for one older and more crippled than I.
I prayed with a bereaved friend who sought comfort. The more I helped others, the more I found I had much to offer. I felt guilty knowing my own depression was depressing others; especially those I love most. And at last I realized that I still have much to do that does not require physical strength; and all at once, my fears, my doubts, my depression;