An old Middle Eastern riddle ask ,” What animal crawls in the morning,walks upright in the daytime,and walks on three legs at night ?” The answer is man. Morning being a reference to our days as a baby,daytime obviously when we are adults,and night time is when we are elderly walking with a cane. That is where my father is now. Actually he has gone past the point of walking at all since his Parkinson’s has taken that ability away from him.
He is dignity,honor and courage personified. He has dealt with this disease with grace and without the first hint of self pity. He has even found humor at times that send the rest of us reeling. He still enjoys life to the fullest of his ability. We hold him up so he can slow dance with the love of his life with whom he has shared the last sixty years of his life. He has gone from a marathon runner to being wheelchair bound without shedding a tear or showing bitterness.
And his wife has been right by his side. There have been times when it has been just to much for moms heart to bear. Times when I have found her quietly weeping in another room for the trials that the love of her life was being tasked with. But never,never in front of him. She has remained upbeat and committed fully to her husband and her faith in the Lord and that is where she gets her strength. Mom has helped many family members during their final days. She has been a care giver all of her life but this , with out a doubt,is the most difficult assignment the Lord has given her.
This morning,well actually at noon,my fathers eyelids fluttered open. I thought this was early for him but what do I know ? I gave him his medicine and spun him out of bed into his chair. As I started to the shower with him I heard him speak. “I don’t want to be awake yet.”
“Well then what are you doing in the chair?”
“How in the hell do I know ! You put me here dammit!”
Sometimes I can ask some really stupid questions.