I Love You, Dad!

DadMePortraitFather’s Day was always a special time in our home. As many of you know, I was very close with my father who was a United Methodist Pastor. Not only was he the best dad I could ever hope for, but he helped me raise my two daughters as I was a single mom from the time my girls were very little. There was no way to properly thank my dad for his love, attention, caring and constant presence in our lives.

My Dad passed away in 2013 but I feel him with us everyday. In the last years of his life, he struggled with his body not keeping up with his mind. Since I took care of him, it was hard to switch from the daughter, who always had her strong dad by her side, to the caregiver. Dad didn’t like it anymore than I did. But we made our way through the challenges, always having each other.

I learned so much about myself and him through those last years:

  1. I learned that neither he nor I had all the answers.
  2. There were no “quick fixes” that make a 90-year-old body feel in perfect health again.
  3. I learned the meaning behind the statement “take it one day at a time.” Often, we are trying to plan ahead and foresee all potential problems. As my dad aged, planning rarely worked. You have to be happy for what you have that day, as things might change again tomorrow.
  4. I learned to cherish being with him, as he was gone much sooner than I wished.

I’m so grateful that we had the time together at the end – to talk, to laugh.

My dad loved poems. When someone came to visit him and when he was in the hospital, he would entertain everyone with poems. I thought I’d leave you with one today.

Climb ‘Til Your Dream Comes True

Often your tasks will be many,
And more than you think you can do.
Often the road will be rugged
And the hills insurmountable, too.

But always remember, the hills ahead
Are never as steep as they seem,
And with Faith in your heart start upward
And climb ‘Til you reach your dream.

For nothing in life that is worthy
Is never too hard to achieve
If you have the courage to try it
And you have the Faith to believe.

For Faith is a force that is greater
Than knowledge or power or skill
And many defeats turn to triumph
If you trust in God’s wisdom and will.

For Faith is a mover of mountains.
There’s nothing that God cannot do,
So start out today with Faith in your heart
And “Climb ‘Til Your Dream Comes True”!

– Helen Steiner Rice (1900 – 1981)

Wishing you all a wonderful Father’s Day!!!!

Did you take care of your parents as they aged?  We’d love to hear from you!

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