— In honor of my father, Scott Carney Schuck, ho is still getting his message out!


He struggles to right himself
From the bed where he will exit this world
Not wanting to bother his loved ones
Who slumber in their vigil.

An old man shuffles towards
The bathroom door
Having lost count of the
Endless trips
Through the interminable night
Of his relentless suffering

His small frame bent and bowed
No longer resembles
The vibrant and agile man I knew
Ribs protrude through parchment skin
Like the bones of Mother Earth
Pushing through dark matter
To reach the sky.

Memories sharpen in these dark nights
Dipping and turning like the swallows
Over the river
Near where he was born
He frets.
Refuses to give in.
As restorative sleep eludes him.

Standing on the back of the lurching convoy
Through the humid jungles of foreign lands
He pees off the truck
His baby daughter at home
Toddling
No longer in diapers

He surrenders and learns
To release himself
To those same diapers
That kept his children
Safe and dry.
Life coming full circle
Once again.

Despite the fog of pain and fatigue
He quotes Karl Pribram, Niels Bohr
Brené Brown and others
Whom he honors
With his life’s work

Friends and relatives make
A path to the door
Of his tiny apartment
In the working neighborhood
He has lived in for 30 years
Absorbed with his books and writings.

He closes his eyes now
Knife clenched between his teeth
As he falls gently backwards
On the stern of the boat
Crab pots and ropes
Tangled in the propeller
As the sailboat rocks and sways
On capricious currents
And sunlight glints
Off the ocean floor.

Sharp pains jar him back
To his fretful body
Breath raspy now
An effort to talk

He turns the canoe over
To clean the fish
My sister caught
As the rest of us kids
Play on the deadfall jungle gym
He created
for Our delight

Which pill now dad?
I can’t figure out the mountain
Of small colored forms
Of various shapes and sizes.
He knows.
His mental acuity now
More of a curse
Than a blessing

My child cries
Daddy come back!
Yet he is here.
Though his body
Is fading.
We stand watch
Paying homage
To one who lived
“The greatest generation,”
Fought two wars
and lived through
The Great Depression.
Who taught us to sail our own boats
In turbulent waters.
Now we must wait
For the final
Surrender.

ADVERTISEMENT
SHARE
Holly Gray Schuck
Holly Gray Schuck, M.S., LicSW, has over 30 years experience in psychotherapy, working with individuals, couples and families. She has a private practice using a blend of spiritual direction and traditional therapy. Holly has worked as a primary therapist for over 15 years at a Northern Wisconsin reservation clinic, serving children and families. She has studied with Alberto Villoldo, Americo Yabar, Juan Nunez Prado, Sun Bear, Serge King, Pat Burdy, Arna Lesha, Master Stephen Co with Advanced Pranic Healing, and studied with Luzclara, her teacher/mentor/friend, for 22 years. Holly is a former wilderness instructor and white water guide and leads expeditions to sacred sites internationally.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here