Archive for August, 2013

Strength in the Face of Adversity

strength in weakness

*****I sit here at one of the most difficult moments of my life.  Each day as I help my ailing father, I face a reality that many have faced before me.  The pounding headache, the tension in my muscles and the sick feeling of dread are my constant companions.  I finally made the phone call to the hospice chaplain to relay my physical and mental state.  She reassures me my exhaustion is typical.  I cannot concentrate or focus on anything for very long.  Symptoms made worse by yet another disappointment.  I reach out to those who I know will pray on my behalf.  My strength is failing.  I need a break from all of this.  The nursing assistant comes just in the nick of time.  Her presence means I can have a whole hour to myself worry free.  I dress and head out of the house.  In the span of a short hour, I transform from a tired basket case and began to appreciate the beautiful August weather.  As I walk through one of my favorite stores, I lose myself in the moment and I have permission to be me if only for a few stolen moments.  I reflect this evening as I sit at my father’s side.  The sting of him not recognizing is beginning to wear off.  I am still for a moment and realize I am not unraveling.  The phone call that ended badly was sobering, but I am still standing.  My prayer warriors have done their job.  God has honored their request.  I am living proof of that.  The Lord tells us His strength is made perfect in our weakness.  Thank you Lord for your strength this day.

Funeral Arrangements-Part 2

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*****It won’t be long now.  I knew that as soon as the hospice nurse checked my dad’s oxygen levels.  He didn’t recognize me or the nurse.  His words were unrecognizable.  I leaned over my father and kissed his forehead.  I thanked him for being my father.  I thanked him for passing on his work ethic.  I thanked him for providing for me and my siblings.  I thanked him for everything he did for me as a child and all things he did for me as an adult.   I glanced down at my watch to check the time.  It was a gift from my father.  As I walk around my house his generosity is everywhere.  All of the really nice things in my house were gifts from my father.    The hall table, the sideboard, the dining room table and matching chairs, the curtains, the bookcase, the TV stand, the media cabinet with the flat screen TV, and the curio cabinet to celebrate the big 4-0.  It’s not the material things, but the expression of love and the desire to see me have the things I wanted.  It’s so easy to say, “I love you”, but those words must be coupled with complimentary actions.  It’s staying in a bad marriage to preserve the family unit.  It’s getting up and going to work every day to keep food on the table.  It’s setting aside savings to send kids to college.  It’s paying bills on time to show the example of responsibility.  It’s all of those things and many more.  It’s why I am the woman I am today.  It’s why I value hard work and sacrifice.  It’s why my word is my bond.  It’s why I value education and hold two degrees.  I am my father.  I am an extension of his hopes and unfulfilled dreams.  I hope I have made him proud and why I am proud to call him my father.  I love you Daddy.

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Funeral Arrangements

Letting Go

Letting Go

           A week that started with a night of camping to catch the Perseid Meteor Shower got progressively worst.  Thursday morning, I awoke to find my Dad lying on the bathroom floor.  I had no idea how long he had been there.  After much effort, it was clear I would not be able to lift him back on his feet.  Thank God, a fire station is located within our subdivision.  A brief chat with one of the firemen and minutes later they were at my home assisting me in getting my Dad back to bed.  It was his third fall in a matter of weeks.  There was no denying the reality of his illness.  It was time to do what I had been putting off for weeks.  It was time to make his funeral arrangements.  Luckily, I had already done my research and I chose a funeral home that had serviced my family in the past.  I retrieved the folder from my office desk and made the phone call.  Nina, our pre-need advisor was great and faxed me the contracts and within a matter of hours the arrangements were made.  I still had one more phone call to make.  It was to a local funeral home that would handle shipping my Dad back to our home town when the time came.  Anthony was great and explained the transport process and the items I needed to provide.  As I drove home, mixed emotions pulled me back and forth.  I was glad that everything had been finalized and grateful that I had the presence of mind to be proactive, but my heart was heavy because I knew the end was near.  I had several other appointments after my visit to the funeral home.  I knew I had to carry on as I will have to carry on in the days ahead.  Scripture tells us that God will not put more on us than we can bare and that His grace is sufficient.  I know one day I would look back on this time and marvel at my composure, but for now I must walk through the fire to reach the other side.

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