|Connie opened the door and let me in. Morrie was in his wheelchair by the kitchen table wearing a loose cotton shirt and even looser black sweatpants. They were loose because his legs had shrunk drastically; you could get two hands around his thighs and have your fingers touch. Had he been able to stand, he'd have been no more than five feet tall, and he'd probably have fitted into a 12-year-old's jeans.|
"I got you something," I announced, holding up a brown paper bag. I had stopped on my way from the airport at a nearby supermarket and purchased some turkey, potato salad, macaroni salad and donuts. I wanted to contribute something. I was powerless to help Morrie otherwise. And I remembered his fondness for eating.
"Ah, so much food!" he sang. "The hospital would never have given me such delicacies."
We sat at the kitchen table, surrounded by wicker chairs. This time, without the need to make up sixteen years of information, we slid quickly into the familiar waters of our old college dialogue. During our conversation, I noticed that he only ate small morsels of the spread in front of him. The donuts and the turkey were left largely untouched. Occasionally, he had to stop to use the bathroom, a process that took some time. Connie would wheel him to the toilet, then lift him from the chair, and support him as he urinated into the beaker. Each time he came back, he looked tired and a little uneasy.
"Are you all right?" I asked. Morrie sighed. 'Tm sorry. This is so embarrassing. It is the ultimate sign of dependency, but I'm working on it. I'm trying to enjoy the process. After all, I get to be a baby one more time." He laughed, and I was relieved that he did. We talked for a long time before I finally decided that it was time to go home. "See you again next Tuesday," he said, as he waved weakly to me.
( Adapted from 'Tuesdays with Morrie' by Mitch Albon )
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