Well, it’s been almost two months since we started a new stage of life (one that includes having my 85 year old father living with us)….I am incredibly grateful to have married a man with a large enough heart and enough personal integrity to love those who need it. He is my example.
It’s been a rollercoaster ride (including an ER visit, a visit to a small country church a lot like Dad’s old church,a couple of holidays with four generations present, lots of paperwork, some bad news, and a little good news-God bless the social worker who did what she said she would!).
Dad’s a good story teller. If you ask the right question (and are prepared to sit and listen for a while after breakfast), you can hear “the rest of the story….” the stuff that makes parts of family history make sense. I never knew one uncle was a medic in World War II (giving shots of morphine to guys who were dying and picking up the remains of those it was too late for). Makes him make a lot more sense now…. I knew Grandma had lived with us for a while, but I didn’t remember being a little girl sneaking out of my toddler bed and going to snuggle with her in the middle of the night in the little room off the living room. I just knew she was always a nice, kind, loving person even to people who were sometimes pretty awful.
In the days when Dad was young, the options were different for family members who had mental illnesses (or angered the wrong person and were sent away). Counselling, medication, understanding, love and acceptance don’t seem like they were readily available in that cultural/chronological/familial/theological context. That sucks! I proudly wear the wedding ring of the black sheep of the family….never knew she was actually one of the “Rosie the Riveter” ladies….the stories I had heard about her before were of the “other” kind.
Sounds like Dad’s dad was a good farmer. Hard working, God-fearing, German immigrant…wished he had settled on the other side of the mountains where there were mile after mile of prospering farms instead of 10 acres of rocks on Whidbey Island.
I have a lot to learn about loving, listening, caring….appears a lot of opportunities have landed in my newly configured life. I pray, with God’s help, that I get it right.