Monday, February 25, 2008

Living

Dad continued his fever yesterday. It was extremely difficult to watch him as he moaned. Here is this man that has always been so strong - an anchor for our family. Now as this anchor fades away the only Anchor I know to hold onto is the one he taught us about - Jesus. I prayed numerous times for him yesterday - that God would take him home to heaven. This prayer is another one where I must trust God rather than believe I know best.

There is really no more communicating with Dad although we still believe he very well can hear and understand everything going on around him. There is now a hospital bed at the house. It was necessary so Mom can take care of Dad best. At the moment, my brother, Will, has a fever and my brother, Trent, hurt his back at work. This takes away the strength that is needed in moving Dad around. Mom still wants our family to be the help for Dad. It's our privilege. Traci and I helped once again yesterday as our husbands helped on different occasions as well. We are so blessed to share this and have this time together.

Watching my mom care for my dad is one of the most heart breaking and strengthing parts of this process. Here is a woman who we characterize for her self-sacrifice. Even now, so many of us cannot fathom the way she pushes all her own needs aside to care for this man she has shared life with for 36 years.

They should have been able to celebrate this part of life. For the first time in just the last couple of years, my dad began to talk about retiring rather than working up until his final breath. It seems like so much is stolen from them. They were married at 17 and 19-years-old. That almost seems like a guarantee for enjoying life after the kids are grown and gone. There are no guarantees in this life other than the ones God promises in the Bible.

I have not witnessed Mom in tears very often throughout this process. Yesterday, throughout the day, I'd find her laying her head next to him attempting to sing along with the music we have playing and the tears just began flowing from her eyes. My mom lives 1 Corinthians 13. Love is sacrifice and my mom has given us such a strong example of what we need to be to others.

I find myself longing for eternity and yet there is still this life to be lived. Currently, my life is consumed with my dad. I don't know how long we will experience this process. Still, I know life continues and through this God is teaching me how to live it more richly.

2 comments:

  1. Hey Tristi-
    I ended up pushing the next day of work until Wed. because my boss needed more time to begin training. It gave me an opportunity to read through some of your blogs. Wow. Terrible. Crazy. Exciting. Fun. Life!
    Thanks for sharing because I was curious. I feel badly that I wasn't there to share the experience with you and relate after having lost my dad years before. I can tell you one thing, after he died I realized much more how wonderful he was. There wasn't much positive about our relationship any more, we never saw eachother and when we did it included topics of money and college which were both sour subjects for me. In the end, I already shared with you how I knew it was time and completely accepted the facts. It became a waiting game just like for you because there was nothing left but pain and loss of function at an increasing rate. He was in the comfort of his own home too, what better place? I remember the day he died, Keith had brought him down to the ground since he was unable to hold him up by himself. So there was my dad lying on the ground without any life left and they covered him in a quilt his mother had made, among many. It was very special really and rather difficult to see. There was nothing better than to be there last after my siblings had all arrived and seen him first. Like I said, Molly is always the last one to show up! That's my life in a nutshell.
    So, anyway, it helps to talk about the tough memories even after 4 years and continue to remember that my dad was a wonderful man. During the funeral service, April gave a speech which she wrote in advance. It killed us all inside to hear it and she was the only one strong enough to speak in front of every one. I was grateful for that because she kind of spoke for us all. One thing she mentioned was how my dad would make the tightest most perfect braids in our hair...she was right, and it had been so long since that happened of course, but it will always be a wonderful memory of how much he cared for his children, especially his girls. I was definitely a Daddy's girl and appreciated the time he spent with me going on campouts with the YMCA. Those are the best memories.
    You mentioned how much you resented your dad working as much as he did and missing out on giving you more attention...well my dad was just the same. But, I think we must realize the they were thinking about us the whole time and attempting to give us a good life by working so much. That way we could eat and sleep in a comfortable house and be spoiled often with too many toys!!! I am grateful for my dad's commitment to work and how much he sacrificed of himself just so I could live. He still sacrificed after dying by thinking that it would be easier if the kids didn't have to worry about planning the funeral and burying him, which would have been expensive of course. No matter how much my dad did work we never got above working class in this world. This made us appreciate the things that mattered...time with family, helping people when they need it so that when we need help it is available too, and above all else, living one day at a time. Without money to plan for retirement or anything, each day counted and it was important to work hard as well as enjoy our times together even more.
    Gosh, I feel like I could write a whole book about it...which you seem to already have done! Publish it! I'll read it first!
    Anyway...I do want to catch up more soon and spend time with your beautiful girls! Call me to chat or maybe I can come by Joliet soon.
    Take care.
    Love always,
    Molly

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  2. I'm glad you were able to read through some. I'm sorry I didn't share too much about my dad with you. I could really relate to what you were saying about your own, though.

    I agree. If it was bad, I make the choice to forget it. It only eats me up inside otherwise. The good is what I have to hold onto and cherish.

    I look forward to seeing you again soon, too. Today has been crazy. I had to take the girls to the doc because of their colds. All is well and Nikelle is back at school and hopefully everyone will be well for Ande's party on Sunday.

    Like I said, I do stay busy! :)

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