ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

When Life Slips Away

Updated on September 28, 2014

When Life Slips Away

By Tony DeLorger © 2010

On Christmas day 1992, this coincidentally was my mother’s birthday, my father passed away. He had suffered from lung cancer and a brain tumour for many months. Having smoked heavily from the age of thirteen and after a healthy life it finally caught up with him. Before he was placed in a hospice, unable to care for himself and awaiting the inevitable, he was cared for in a Repatriation home. It was a beautiful place, well-appointed and set in beautiful gardens and bushlands. At that point my father was paranoid, angry, constantly spouting stories of mistreatment and bouncing back and forth between cognizance and melancholy. His connection with life was slowly ebbing away.

I used to take the kids to see him and it was the only thing that put a smile on his face. If it wasn’t so sad it would be funny, because of my Dad’s dissatisfaction he would try to escape the home. Some two hundred metres away from his quarters, on the main road and entrance, there was a bus-stop. It was one of the most popular spots in the home. The old dears, clad in their dressing-gowns and slippers would somehow get by all the nursing stations and shuffle up to the bus-stop, to make good their escape from this harsh prison-like place. There was a constant parade of nurses escorting their patients back to the wards. Dad would tell about his exploits and giggle, just like a naughty schoolboy.

Later, in the hospice, Dad’s mental state had deteriorated considerably. He was a mere skeleton, his foot red raw from a constant rubbing on the sheets, like an unconscious tick.

When I would visit, I was never sure whether he even recognised me, but if an attractive nurse passed the doorway, he would lift his head and give a knowing grin. His favourite activity, I was told, was getting his daily sponge bath. I guess some things never change.

Perhaps his lack of awareness was a mercy, given his slow and undignified demise. But I’ll always remember the Home, his escape plans and will, the last thread of his connection to life. Now he is at peace, and his memory will live on in those who loved him.

The following is a poem I wrote in memory of that time.

The Home

Tony DeLorger © (9/08/06)

He sat hunched over, lost in his misery,

Feeling helpless and alone, with no-one on his side.

His deep brown eyes rimmed with white,

Now dull and lifeless, stared into nothing,

His plight seemingly hopeless.

Then, as if released he turned and spoke of escape,

Formulating an intricate plan, to show them all

That he would not stand for this treatment.

But he slips back under the spell and recedes inward,

In silent pain and grievance stricken.

‘Poppy’? A high-pitched voice resounds,

And he turns to the child and smiles,

for a moment forgetting.

He lifts his bony hand and gently touches the child’s face,

In some way recognising himself, remembering life.

He mumbles some hapless remark then closes his eyes,

The sun’s warmth a fine thread of connection,

To lost memories.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Tony DeLorger profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony DeLorger 

      7 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Glad you related, Silva.

    • Silva Hayes profile image

      Silva Hayes 

      7 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      Thank you, Tony. I also know all too well what you are talking about. Peace and love.

    • profile image

      Tony DeLorger 

      7 years ago

      Thanks, Lilly.

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 

      7 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

      Thank you for sharing this remembrance.

    • profile image

      Tony DeLorger 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for your comment, Bail Up.

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 

      7 years ago

      Sad, yet beautiful poem. I know all too well what you are talking about. Peace.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)