Prayers for Pops

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                      September 11, 2013


       I have to be honest! When I traveled back to Ohio with my wife Carol I only got misty-eyed twice. One of those times was when I went into my mom and dad’s bedroom and saw that her hospital bed was no longer there. The mattress was leaned up beside the wall. I was overwhelmed by the emptiness of the space that had been occupied by her bed the last time I had been home in late April. No one else was in the house at that moment, and the quiet of the room hit me.

The second time I got emotional was when I saw Mom in her casket at the funeral home before the time of visitation began. The stillness of her presence gripped my heart. The welling up of emotion lasted for a couple of minutes and then I was okay. You see, the last couple of years of Mom’s life had resulted in her being still most of the time, so it did not seem too much different from what had been.

My concern is for my dad. Married to the same woman for 65 years, her main caregiver for the past several years, Dad’s life has been focused on his lifemate. I asked him on Monday, as we shared breakfast together at Bob Evans Restaurant, what he was going to do this week. He looked at me and said, “Well, Bill, I have no idea!”

He has been freed from his daily routine, and the freedom is numbing. His day had revolved around Mom’s care. A home health care person would come in each day from nine until one in the afternoon. Dad would use that time to do yard work, or go to the pharmacy or grocery store, or to doctor appointments. Come one o’clock he would be sitting by Mom’s side reading Time magazine or watching the local news on TV. Around 5:00 he would fix her dinner and feed it to her, and my sister would stop by. Around 8:00 my sister would come back and they would get Mom ready for the night. Around 9:30 a tuckered out husband would make his way to bed, where he usually did not sleep well despite his exhaustion. And then the next day the routine would start again!

And so now he has a kind of freedom that he has not wished for. His only daily task for the next two weeks is radiation treatments at 9:50 each weekday at St. Mary’s Hospital. It’s his third round of radiation for skin cancer spots, a second round for places on his right ear.

My dad is a special man. And so, just as we prayed that the Lord would take Mom home as the Parkinson’s took more and more control of her body and mind, we pray that God will protect and strengthen Pops in these days of difficult transition. Being 85, he is in the home stretch years of his life. We’re praying that they will be solid, memory-filled, laughter immersed.

“God, he deserves it! I understand the grace thing, that the wages of our sin is death, that we didn’t earn eternal life. I’m just asking for some time for my dad where we can focus on him, we can love him, and communicate by our words and actions that he is special. I know that when you passes from this life he will live eternally, and I’m extremely thankful for that. I’m just hoping he gets to live unburdened for a while still in this life. That plea, I admit, is more for our benefit than for him. But, Father God, like I I said, he deserves it!”

       That’s my prayer and my plea. We could tell that the weariness of this journey has tired him in many ways. I pray for the days to be easier. He deserves it.

Explore posts in the same categories: Community, Death, Faith, Freedom, Grace, Jesus, love, marriage, Parenting

One Comment on “Prayers for Pops”

  1. Kimberly Henry Says:

    Reblogged this on Rhyme for Reason and commented:
    I can totally understand your plea.. I was raised by my paternal grandparents and about 15 years ago my Grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s . My Pop took care of her for 10 years until she passed away 5 years ago. He too went through a period of time where he didn’t really know what to do with himself. Now he is 88 years old and does more things then I can ever remember. He is not a believer , so my prayer is that he lives long enough to find salvation. My prayer for your Dad is that he may find peace and enjoyment for the rest of his days! That he may be able to do things he never knew he wanted to do. I look forward to meeting him!

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