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The Death of Mr. Jones

I’ve known Mr. Jones for many years

Him and his wife lived in the same house for decades

They were sociable when they needed to be

But they preferred being at home usually

It’s incredible seeing how much they’ve changed

Mrs. Jones used to be a bit distant and cold

When she got older she was warm and engaging with others

As for Mr. Jones, well, you could say he got worse

Of course, I didn’t know him when he was younger

But in his mid-life age, he was funny, at times, and even caring

But he was never pleasant to be around when angered

They had 3 children who eventually moved out of the house

Mostly because they couldn’t stand being there so long

Over time, Mrs. Jones realized this and made some changes

Knowing life was getting shorter and wanted to leave happy

They may never accept blame, but would it matter if they did?

Around the time Mrs. Jones died at age 80, her husband was already worse

As his memory faded so, too, did his relationships around him

Though he was sociable, he was never outgoing to have friends

He often blamed his wife for many things when in reality it was him

He didn’t keep in touch with his siblings as they passed on

And he wasn’t tech-savvy to communicate with his children

Nor did they visit often since they always left frustrated

I noticed this upon my time taking care of Mr. Jones

When I saw how much he struggled taking care of himself

Hurting to stand up, forgetting his medications, not eating well

Among many other things, I will admit I felt bad

At first, he was adamant he didn’t want help

But he soon gave in and allowed me to come back daily

I’m certain he missed having a companion around

He once said he wished all three of his kids would come back

Before it became too late and things remained fractured

Yet from what I’ve observed, the first two simply couldn’t

They found it unbearable to be around him

His remarks, his old-fashioned beliefs, his political talks

That was all he could discuss besides repeating memories

The youngest child I’m not sure how he felt about him

I don’t even know some days how I put up with him

His age also led to a quicker temper and only I was there to hear

Some days he would wish an early death upon himself

His conversations would grow tiresome but I partook

All the while I told myself to keep him company no matter what

I even visited him in the hospice when I no longer was useful

I was his only visitor when he stayed there

Near the end of his days I noticed something

He was crying which is the first time I’ve ever seen this

He regretted many things he has done in his life

Wishing he could’ve changed it for the better

How he treated people and how he acted

In the end he asked me to tell his children he’s sorry

Sorry for not being the dad they hoped for

It is a shame he forgotten how they looked

Unfortunately I was unable to tell them any of this

Because no one showed up to his funeral

All who was there was the priest and I, his caretaker

He imagined a full house of family to bid farewell

But only the truth arrived which was unwelcomed

I knew it would happen though but it’s okay

He’s finally at peace like he wanted for so long

Who knows where he is or who he hopes to see

The family that remains may come visit one day

Maybe they can even reunite before it’s too late

As the priest walked away on this rainy afternoon

I stood before the tombstone of Mr. Jones one last time

And in the end all I could say was, “You may have not been

perfect, but you tried your best with your family. Hopefully they see that.

Now you can finally rest, and no longer have to suffer”

Before leaving, I tucked an old family photo I found onto his grave

It was one of the few possessions he had kept all these years

A photo where his children were younger; the youngest an infant

It was the only photo where everyone was together and happy

And on that rainy afternoon, I placed that memory on the stone

Looked at him and said, “Goodbye dad.”, before walking away. . .

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