The Face

There are times when I truly think he hates me. But I know inside that really he loves me. It is what I represent to him that he hates. I am the face of the disease to my father. My father has had Parkinson’s Disease (PD) for twenty six years and at eighty-three years old he is nearing the end of his struggle.

I know that it must be difficult for anyone to live with PD but it has to be especially trying for a man like my father. This man has taken such good care of his body. He is still , other than the PD,in tremendous shape. But the ravages of the disease are evident now. The once powerful legs that carried him across so many miles are now atrophied. The arms that used to do fifty push ups with one of his children sitting on his back are still strong but they too are losing their grip on the past. And the mind…oh the mind. The mind is losing its hold on reality and he knows it.

With all this he has been stoic and unyielding in his carriage as a man. That is why he lashes out at me and no one else. I am the reminder that he is sick. I am Parkinson’s to him. I remind him , just by being present , that he can no longer walk. When I turn on the shower I remind him , without saying a word that he can not stand nor does he possess the dexterity to bathe himself. Sitting beside him at the table that he still heads he is reminded that someone has to help him eat. Sitting in his chair watching me pick out the clothes he will wear today reminds the once sharpest dressed man in town that he can no longer dress himself.

That is why every night when I tuck him in bed I remind him of two things.

One is I love you.

Two is I’m sleeping right here next to you.


This entry was posted in death and dying, end of life care giving and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Face

  1. Judy Kitchens says:

    You are doing a wonderful job caring for and loving your father and mother, what a beautiful example of love in the most difficult of situations. Thank you for what you do.

  2. amandasue916 says:

    I admire you for caring for your father. SO many people just put their aging family member in a hospital or nursing home and walk away. I have worked in several homes and also with individuals with disabilities and it saddens me that family members aren’t even there to see the good times… they are so worried about being inconvenienced by the trying times that they give up the good with the bad.

    I know most days have to be trying but I hope that God will reveal each day a good moment for both you and your father! =)

    • Thank you. But like I told you in when I read your blog it took several years for me to realize why bad things seemed to keep happening in my life. I am convinced that God was manipulating my life so that I would available and capable to be here now.

  3. You are incredible. I know many people who love their parents wholeheartedly, but would not be able to care for them at a time when they need so very much time, patience and attention.

    But that is not what impresses me, nor what makes my heart both soar and bleed for you.
    It is your understanding and acceptance of the pain you cause your father, simply by being, whilst also going through the pain of watching the man who has raised you become a stranger to you and to himself.

    You are so incredibly strong, giving and compassionate. The world desperately needs people like you. Your parents are lucky to have you, and quite clearly, you’ve been lucky to have them.

    Sending positive thoughts your way x

    • I’m not incredible,believe me. I am the most ordinary flawed human being walking,sometimes crawling this earth. If you just knew how many times I have fallen in my life and they helped ME stand you would know that I owed them this.

      • And yet you don’t write as though you feel you owe them, you write as though you do it purely out of love and a desire to make their final moments the easiest that that they can be, under the circumstances.

        I do still think you’re incredible 😛

      • Your post , The Other Side , was my inspiration to write Introspect today. It brought back a lot of feelings and emotions that I had never really dealt with. Thank you.

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