Anyone who’s lived in the Midwest knows how brutal the winters can be. Dad’s doctor started recommending he spend the cold months in Tucson with my sister. This is the second winter he’s gone and the trip was hard on him.
There are other things to consider besides cold weather and I was relieved when I heard he’d be coming home a week early. Two weeks ago, when I found out that he was in the hospital after his legs had given way and he’d fallen, I was afraid he wouldn’t make it home. I picked him up at Mitchell Field last Friday and the first thing he told me was how pleased he was with the airport wheelchair service. He thought he’d be able to travel anywhere in the world.
It’s good to have him back in his condo—just three blocks from my office and three miles from where my husband and I live. And it was special to be together again this past Sunday with Dad.
Today, when I was making his lunch, he was crushing his pills and said, “There will be no pills in heaven!”
“Or grief or anger,” I added as I put extra butter on the bread for his sandwich. He’s down to 130 pounds.
“I really don’t have any anger,” he said after a moment’s thought. “When the Lord is ready to take me, I am ready to go.”
“What about patience?” I asked and he smiled. “You might want to focus on that or you’ll have to stick around until you get it right.” I smiled.
“You know, I’ve lost twenty pounds since my surgery in 2007.”
“You’ve also lost four inches of height, Dad. You don’t need the weight.”
“Oh, right. I forgot about that. You always make me feel better.”
(No, Dad, you always make me feel better.)
I had called him on my way to work after a meeting this morning. He told me his congestion was back and had let his doctor know but they hadn’t yet called him back. “Are you taking your Mucinex?” I asked him.
“No, I stopped that.”
“Because I had put myself on it and then I took myself off it.”
“Well, put yourself back on it.”
“Can I talk to my doctor first?”
“Sure, if they call you back. If they don’t, take it.” He chuckled.
“Well…I left it in Tucson.
“I’ll pick some up.” Walgreen’s didn’t have any on the shelf so I went to CVS and picked up two bottles. I was leaving the store when I saw his text asking me if I could pick up his Warfarin prescription and turned around to head back to the pharmacy.
I get immense joy out of solving the little challenges my Dad faces these days. There is always an answer if you take the time to look—even if it might be that you’ve only found some distraction from the fact that you are facing your parent’s mortality. As with my mom, I try not to think about losing him. He is full of life, in spite of the fact that he weighs 130 pounds, has no appetite, hobbles and coughs. He’s a fighter, a soldier, and carries around a copy of “Onward Christian Soldier” with him in his briefcase.
I love him.
Tonight after work I went by and made a Tater Tot casserole like my mom used to make for our family because he likes it. I made enough for our family because that’s the way Mom made it though it was just the two of us. I lit candles and he said the prayer. When we had finished and the dishes were done, the leftovers put away, he worked his way over to his chir with his new walking stick, slowly lowered himself into it and told me to sit down. “I have something serious to say to you.” I took a seat on the couch beside him. “I know I am getting weaker and won’t be able to stay here in the condo much longer.”
“Oh, I’ve thought about that, Dad. I think we can find someone to come in and help out a little more. They could prepare all your meals and just watch over things.”
“Well, I hadn’t thought of that.”
“One day at a time, Dad.”
“Okay. You always make me feel better.”
No, Dad, you always make me feel better.
A good daughter and a good father.
I am glad your dad is back home. I will pray for him daily. Tell him we love him and want him around. He is a man of God. So glad you made his favorite dish. If you could e-mail the recipe I would appreciate it.
Aw Debs – this was precious; it made me cry! I knew that dad was anxious to go to Tucson to see Joan, but when we talked over the last two weeks I knew he was anxious to come home to see you too! Love you both!!
Precious. I just returned from a week-long visit with my Dad. You’ve inspired me to write about it.
Debbie you always make me feel good when you write about dad. We are in a time where we really needto lean on Jesus. Jesus will work it out dad has lived his life trusting Jesus.
John, I read your note to dad and he said, “one of the greatest joys of being a parent is getting a note like that from one on your kids! ”
Aww, Joyce, thank you! Can’t wait to read it!
Marsha, thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. Thank you.
I appreciate, lead to I found just what
I used to be looking for. You’ve ended my 4 day lengthy hunt!
God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye
Appreciation to my father who told me about this weblog, this blog is in fact remarkable.