This Old Man With My Son's Face
He shuffles into the kitchen each morning
Arm wrapped around his middle, back hunched, face lined with pain
He sits in his chair with a sigh, staring sadly at his food
Knowing he needs to eat, but knowing it will hurt
His eye, once so bright and sparkling blue, now dull with pain and fatigue
I look for a trace of my boy in this old man with my son’s face.
It started simply enough, a stomach bug we thought
A stomach bug that never ended
First his energy faded, then his weight dropped
My six foot three baby boy fading away. His color left with his weight.
I rejoice on the rare days I see pink in his cheeks
And a sparkle in the eyes of this old man with my son’s face.
Tests and tests, supplements and medications
Try this, test for that, feed him this, don’t feed him that
Well meaning friends and family
Doctors with non answers. Liz at least gives hope
More doctors and more tests to find a cause, to find a cure
To break free of this old man with my son’s face.
“Is he missing school? Is he missing church?
You need to find a cure,” more well meaning folk tut tut
“He’s missing LIFE!” I want to scream
Instead I try to smile and say, “We’re doing all we can.
We’ve changed diet and doctors. We’ll try again and again.
To find the cause and the cure of this old man with my son’s face.
He wafts into the living room, a stiff breeze could knock him down
So thin, so pale, he folds into the chair next to me
Stooping to lay his head on my shoulder.
I want him to talk to me, he doesn’t want me to worry
So we sit in silence and understanding.
And I will him to be well, this old man with my son’s face.
And always through the long days and months
We pray and pray and pray, for answers,
For healing that hasn’t happened yet, and it’s hard to keep the faith
But faith we do have and healing will come
If not now then soon someday, to free the prisoner
My little boy, from this old man with my son’s face.