By Joan McNerney
He sat beside the kitchen windowwatching snow fall over sycamoresWhat could he hope for?Some good news brought by mail?An unexpected call? His phone rang with remindersof medical appointments.No mail ever came but billsfrom doctors, clinics, hospitals,ads, charity appeals.What’s the use? He had grown accustomed to pain,inured to the idea that his life waswithout much happiness or success.Accustomed to pain running alonghis back, through his knees, his feet,shortness of breath, cancers. Now in retirement, what was really left?Just bottles of pills to take every day.Death used to be something he couldbrush off. It happened to someone else.Now it seemed so close, as if it mightcome any day from some cold hand.