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A good trip home…..

May 16, 2011

 

We went home to visit my parents this weekend.

I went into this trip anticipating how hard it would be seeing my dad.  As much as I long to see him, the pain of seeing him this way is almost unbearable at times.

The first thing i usually see when arriving at the nursing home is my sweet dad laying in his bed in a tee shirt….and a diaper.  For some reason, seeing him like that just breaks my heart.

This time however, was different.

When Greg and I walked into his room, Dad was laying on his bed—fully dressed. 

 This was the first time in over a year that he has been fully dressed when we have arrived.

I saw this small thing as an obvious evidence of God’s grace.

As i sat there in the sitting area, watching my dad sleep in his chair, my mind kept thinking of all that Alzheimers has taken from my dad….all that we have lost.

And as i thought of all of that, I could barely talk, for fear of falling apart.

And then God, in his kindness, spoke something beautiful to my heart.

He reminded me that my dad lived a very full life; a life that was pleasing to God.

He reminded me that my dad loved the Lord with all of his heart, soul, and strength.

He helped me to see that though so much of Dad seems lost to me, Dad’s life was not and is not lost on God.

As a matter-of-fact, Dad’s whole life was all about God.

Before the Alzheimers, it was no surprise to find him reading his Bible thoughout the day, or to hear him listening to worship music as he worked in his garage.

and it wasn’t uncommon to find Dad sharing the gospel with the neighbors or the garbage man.

And it was no surprise to see him pulling a slip of paper out of his pocket and write something on it. 

If one were to ask him what was on that paper, he would tell you that it was his prayer list…..and he carried it with him everywhere he went.

Sometimes I wonder why God doesn’t chose to take my dad home to be with him.  that’s what Dad has always wanted.

however, I realize now that dad’s work here isn’t done. 

Even though he can’t talk or communicate anymore, his life is still bing used to bring healing  to those around him.

Not long after Dad got to the point where he didn’t know us anymore, God brought Virgil into our lives.

Virgil is a sweet man who lives at the nursing home where Dad lives.  Virgil’s family, though they live close by, never comes to see him.

and he has adopted us as his family.

He comes to sit with us when we’re there and tells us he loves us when we leave.

I believe with all my heart that God is not only using us to bring joy to Virgil, but he’s using Virgil to bring joy to us while we struggle through our visit with Dad.

Dad would be thrilled to know that we are reaching out to a hurting, lonely soul, because that’s what he did best.

I’d love to have my dad back, happy and whole, but i realize that won’t happen this side of Heaven.

But one thing i can have is the joyof knowing that when my dad stands before God, God will look into his eyes and say,

“well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 20, 2011 12:32 pm

    Love your perspective & your realization that God is using this for His glory! I will be praying for you, your dad, and Virgil! Thanks SO much for linking up to A Steady Rain today!

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