I was working on some paperwork for my parents yesterday, and needed to find some photos of my Dad’s four wheeler to get an estimate on its value. I came across this picture:
This was taken in May 2013. Less than a year ago. At the time we had some warning signs that Mom and Dad were headed for assisted living, but it still seemed far off. It seemed like it would be at least a year before we’d even begin the process.
And now, less than a year later, they live in assisted living, my dad is on hospice, and I’m finding values of items and my siblings and I are cleaning out a house.
I had to sit back and take a big breath when I found this picture, because suddenly I felt like I was in mourning. My parents are still alive, mind you, and I am at peace on the hospice decision we’ve made. They are happy, and at the moment, doing well.
Yet when I find pictures like these of my dad doing things he loved- taking the kids on four wheeler rides, building fires for hot dog roasts or fishing….I feel like that part of him has already died. I feel like I’m mourning the man he used to be, while I am loving the man that he is now.
I’ve said this many times- I miss my “old” mom and dad. I miss the mom I went on trips with, watched movies and planted flowers. I kiss the dad I went fishing with and helped around the garage. I miss the people that would babysit for my kids and tirelessly play with them. I miss my mom and dad.
I know this is part of the process. I know this is normal. I dearly love both of them, and they still make me smile every day. It just doesn’t get any easier. I feel like I’m mourning them now, and when they eventually do pass away, I will have to mourn them all over again.
Thank God I have this comfort:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old is gone, the new so here! 1Corinthians 5:17
It’s ok for me to be sad right now. I know the sadness won’t last forever, and I know that someday we will all be in Heaven, with none of the bodily problems Mom and Dad suffer from now. That promise keeps me going.
No matter how sad I am, I know that I will always have my Daddy.