So on a Saturday, my sister, brother-in-law, and daughter moved the few items that would fit in one room from Dad's apartment. We arranged the furniture...
then commenced dismantling, packing up, and thinning of yet anot
her layer of belongings.
None of the five moves we've done with my folks over the last six years has been easy. This move has been harder to watch and harder to do. By the way, four moves have occurred in the past four years. Yes, that works out to moving as an annual event.
You see, Dad's brain is atrophying. He's losing cognitive facility. And that's the hardest part--to watch and listen as he recognizes that confusion is a more constant companion and sleep the only solace for the day.
So, for the past two weeks I've struggled with how to choose joy and gratitude when my heart breaks for my father. I admit to feeling selfish, even a little heartless to choose joy and gratitude when my father feels sadness, loneliness, and the persistent drip of loss upon loss.
I don't have any answers. If you do, would you be willing to share?
Here's what I do know and what I try to hold onto:
- Choosing joy and gratitude doesn't mean that I'm insensitive to Dad.
- My emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being are my responsibility and not the servant of Dad's situation.
- My state-of-mind is baggage I carry with me. Dad would probably prefer that I pack my bags with good stuff.
- Only God can give my dad joy and peace. My responsibility is to pray for that.
- If I truly believe that my dad is a child of God, then there is no reason to treat him like an orphan.