Proxy Walk

I visited you at the hospital after lunch.

You hadn’t eaten much.

I told you how sunny and warm it was.

“Another fine day,” I said. “I wish you could go outside.”

You looked through the window and paused over a few laboured breaths. “I wish I could, too.”

So later I went out on your behalf.

I walked around the neighbourhood and I chatted with the people I knew.

I petted their dogs.

I watched a gray squirrel scurry up a tree and chitter at me from the safety of a high branch.

I listened to the birdsong and tried to identify them, but I’m not good at that, not like you.

Same with the trees—what kind of a leaf is that? You would have known.

There was a stand of rosebushes at the end of the lake, in furious bloom. The dark pink kind with yellow centers, like the ones you planted at home. Their sweet scent was thick on the breeze.

So I stopped and smelled, and I picked one. Plus a couple of wild daisies a short distance away. I brought them home and sat them on my kitchen window.

I did all these things because you would have done them if you could have gone outside today.

Oh, and so much more.

I know it wasn’t quite the same.


  • Martha Vowles on June 26, 2016

    So poignant and beautifully-expressed.

  • Debbie Dussault on June 27, 2016

    I walked every step of the way with you. ❤

  • Marlene on June 27, 2016

    Made me cry…. beautiful!

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