Below is a small excerpt from my story, “Afghan Ghosts,” about a soldier deployed to Afghanistan who wrestles with his father’s deteriorating health in the States and the deaths of his comrades in a war zone.
“Despite what I told the commander, I knew that pain was a relative term. How my father felt or the jokes he told could not determine the reality of his health. A smile would not erase the tumors that consumed his organs like cadaver worms. Before I flew home for a visit last month, a year passed since I had seen my father. I was shocked to walk in the door of my parents’ home to be greeted by a skeleton—only a bit of papery, jaundiced flesh stretched over the skull of the man who had raised me.”
Let me know what you think. Have any of you struggled as you watched a loved one slip away? How did it change you? I’m looking forward to reading your comments.