For those who have been following the story, it’s been a month now, and we’re still hanging out with Dad. Perhaps it would be better to say that Dad is still hanging out with us. And he isn’t planning on going anywhere soon. Recent tests show that his kidney appears to have regained some function, which we suspected as he resumed much of his daily routine.
Yes, this is good news. And yes, this is hard news. Dad will be with us for a while longer. But Dad lost a lot of strength over the past three weeks. In his mind he can still get up and shuffle to the kitchen for a snack, or to the bathroom to take care of business, but his body has lost the ability to do so safely. So someone needs to be around to observe, help and redirect him during the three hours or so he is awake each day. He’s not happy about that, and lets us know with increasing frequency. However one of the blessings of short term memory loss is that you quickly forget about your momentary frustrations, irritations and anger, and all’s well again before you know it.
I’m glad that I’ve been able to be here to help out as much as I have. I am also aware of the stress my brother and sister-in-law have endured not just over the past month, but over the last two years since my Dad moved in with them. Even the most realistic among us really don’t grasp how hard life and death are until they abruptly interrupt your schedule, plans and dreams.
I am very thankful for a congregation that has given me plenty of space and flexibility to navigate this experience. I am sure that is because so many of them have been there and done that. Even the most realistic among us don’t fully grasp how big our circle of prayer, encouragement and support are when life and death unexpectedly stop in for a visit.