There seems to be a great dichotomy in my heart right now….my heart is so full and yet there seems like there are no words. I want to keep all the memories to myself and yet I want to talk about them. Unexpectedly a week ago Friday I left the family once again only this time it was by myself to fly out to my parents’ house. Dad has cancer and is slowly failing and so I went to help out a few days, and my husband and the kids drove out on Tuesday.
I had a few very precious days together with my Dad and Mom and yet my thoughts and emotions have been ‘all over the globe.’ It’s so hard to see one’s father suffering and becoming weaker when he was the strong one and pillar of the family. The roles become reversed the parent becomes like a child and the child then has to be a parent to the parent which just doesn’t seem right.
One of the most precious moments I had with them was on Sunday evening. Dad had a few hours when he really perked up and seemed to have unusual strength. He got off his chair, walked around the house and then went to the piano. (Now Dad knows one of my favorite things is when he plays the piano and we either listen or sing. This is something we often did as a family especially on Sundays.) Anyway he sat down on the stool and started to play. As I gently rubbed his back I directed him to one of my favorite songs which he played and I standing behind silently cried. After a few minutes Mom came in the room and we both began to sing (her soprano and I alto) as he proceeded to play her favorite song, my brother Len’s favorite song (he died from cancer when he was 32), and then his own 2 favorite songs. After this exhaustion overtook him and he went back to his chair. I wished for a few moments we could freeze time and just continue but soon reality set back in and I could see that this was almost too much for him.
It’s very difficult to see him suffer and often words were few and yet these times of bonding are lasting memories that will not fade. And although I may not be there for his final breaths yet to have a few days together, to serve him and help him…to rub his aching back has been very precious to me.
I know the day will come (as it will for each one of us) that we will not see one another on this earth again. Last Friday for me was a very difficult day…leaving my earthly father not knowing if I would ever see him again. We spoke a few minutes together alone and then I had to almost physically pull myself away.
But through this all ultimately then the question is, as Dad said to me before we left, “Although we may never see one another again on this earth the most important question is how will we each cross over the Jordon.” Are you and I prepared to meet our Maker?