We are called to honour our parents (Eph 6:1-3) … even when it hurts.
I remember what it felt like to watch my dad’s memory fade away … as he forgot my name, then forgot his relationship to me. It wasn’t just his memory that faded … it seemed that all of who he was slowly disappeared.
Yet, he always felt comfortable with me .. safe, it would seem .. and we would often just sit, quietly enjoying one another’s company.
It was a practice of being in the moment … of slowing down and finding the blessing. He might not have known who I was, and had lost the ability to carry a conversation, but he was able to be physically present.
Near the end, he often seemed unaware of my presence, although the nurses mentioned that he seemed calmer with me by his side.
He would do things with me that surprised me … my favourite memory is how he would come alive when I would play music from the 40’s and 50’s, and even from war time. I would be reading the words on the screen of my smart phone, while he would know all of the words by heart!
There we’d be … singing our hearts out, together! But he could not have a conversation, and he didn’t know who I was.
It was joy mixed with sadness, but, for me, joy won out.
I treasure those last couple of years … I’m just so grateful I had the freedom to spend so much time with him, and to be with him when his spirit left his body and went to be with the Lord.