I was following behind Dad as he took charge of the walker that has lived for two years in the basement storeroom. Anytime we made the slightest suggestion to get it out for him, the answer was, “No”.
He’s good at getting around with it now though and with the wheels, I call him Billy Speedster. As he makes his way around the tight corner between the bed and the dresser I hear him muttering, “It says in the Bible, when you get old, you’ll need help.” These days are blending together and like Dad, I lose track which day is which. But there is some freedom in that, even joy.
I want to have the scriptures Dad treasures engraved in my heart and I spent yesterday morning reading through his favorites–the Book of John, Chapters 14-17. It begins with Jesus comforting his disciples and I love how, all these years later, the words sound as though they could be spoken directly to us. The first verse is one of Mom’s favorites, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me.” Jesus says he is going to prepare a place for them and will come back for them. When Thomas says that he doesn’t know the way, Jesus tells him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
These are the words Dad has lived his life by. Ask a cashier at his grocery store, a neighbor, my son or my husband, or even one of my best friends who might just happen to run into him at CVS, Dad will want to know how your faith is and isn’t afraid to ask if you know Jesus. Dad’s touched hearts and ticked others off.
“Love each other as I have loved you,” Jesus says in Chapter 15:12. I counted seven times that he says, “Remain in Me.” And three more times, “Remain in my love.”
I have the privilege of spending these holy days with Dad and I can’t help but want to share them. Dad is sleeping now so I can’t ask him but I would guess that if he wanted to share anything from his heart to yours today, it would be just that–remain in God’s Love.
“Debbie?” I hear Dad’s voice calling from his bedroom.
“I’m here, Dad,” I yell back as I run down the hall. He’s sitting up and turns his head. Out of the corner of his eye I catch the twinkle.
“I thought this was a Bed and Breakfast ”
“You ready for breakfast, Dad?”
June 19, 2016
Oh boy, do I feel this. Dad started using the walker at my urging in February. He had been using a cane but had a couple of almost-stumbles. I finally said, “Dad, there’s only one thing I ask of you. You know what it is?” And he knew. When we’re out, he tells strangers, “I don’t really need this but they’re forcing me to use it.” Pride. His doctors and friends are glad he’s using it. So am I. I feel less vulnerable. I tell him, “Dad, by using this, we’re preventing a fall instead of waiting for one.” His one friend put it bluntly: “You fall, you break a hip, you get pneumonia then you die.” He’s a trooper. So is your Dad.
Joyce, That cracks me up, “they’re forcing me,”. Such spunk! I have learned to let as much as possible come from Dad. I use to try to tell him what I thought was best. Now I wait for him to tell me. Though his body is terribly weak, he’s been blessed with a strong mind. I had to learn to be still and wait. Good lesson. Much love to you all.
You, Deb, by your Dad’s side now, such a blessing for him. And for you. I was able to be with my father during his last two weeks. We were sad, anticipating our loss, but it was such a very sweet time for my family, as we attended and loved him. So I can relate to what you are experiencing. Your Dad’s spirit and faith inspire me. Yours, too. And your essays, your gift of words, like prose poetry with clear illumination. Thanks you, dear friend.
You always bring warmth to my heart Sandra. Much love