Thursday, April 26, 2012

The age of worry

12:47 p.m. Today's project was to call for prayer from family and friends, and then see what was needed to be done for my 84-year-old father, Oliver, who lives in Redlands, about 30 minutes from here.

Last night at 11:21 p.m. as I was just about to shut off my reading light, Daddy called me, sounding shaky and panicked. Yet, as if it were 11 in the morning, he said, "Hi Dana. How are you doing? what are you doing?" I said, I'm a bit sleepy but was just going to bed. What's up? Are you all right?" I was thinking of a need to go to the hospital such as we experienced last summer when his bladder cancer caused blood clots. He has a tendency to call me instead of 911, or nearby Heidi and Pavel, so I was prepared mentally,if not physically) for an undertaking of some sort involving a late night drive through the Canyon!

Daddy said, "I need some help over here!" He went on to express his worry that his mail was stacking up, because he couldn't make the walk down his long asphalt driveway any more. I asked aout the program the local post office has, requiring mail carriers to go to the front doors of senior citizens who don't pick up their mail after one day.  Daddy said that the mail lady did come up to his door and rang the doorbell and knocked several times, but he couldn't get up from bed quickly enough to catch her. He sleeps quite late, which might explain the 11:21 phone call!By the time he got to the door, she was at the street and leaving.  His very serious woory was that yesterday's mail is still in the box, and today's will be there by 12:30. My dad is very security conscious, so the thought of mail sitting out on the street had him panicked! I assured him that I would come by in the afternoon, since Steve had a podiatrist appointment in the morning.

I'm definitely in what could be called "the sandwich generation" if along with an elderly father and a college age son I still help with counsel and very minor amounts of finances, we include a totally disabled spouse who can do nothing for himself.  Is there a "grilled sandwich" generation?

Sometimes I reflect on the challenging circumstances of my life with incredulous gratitude for the way that God handles every aspect! A favorite verse of mine is Psalm 27:13:

I would have lost heart, unless I
   had believed
That I would see the goodness of
   the LORD
In the land of the living.

Two different interpretations come to mind, the second one just this minute as I was typing it. (Thank You, Holy Spirit). The one I've always thought about is that "in the land of the living" means here on earth. As Jesus prayed, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven," (Matthew 6:10). Amen to that, in this world of sorrow and wickedness--and mercifully, joy as well.

But the Lord just popped into my head that perhaps David meant, or also meant, that he'd live to see God's goodness rather than dying without seeing deliverance from his wicked enemies and foes (v. 2)adversaries and false witnesses (v. 12). I would love to see this family's enemy " early-onset familial dementia" defeated for Steve in his and my lifetime; I would love for my father to get re-energized and walk strongly like he did for his first 83-1/2 years!  But are these hopes realistic?

Only God has the control over our days of life and health! And that's why we pray and seek wise counsel and courses of action.

I called my sister and we tossed around some ideas about the mail situation, and then later she thought about an electric wheelchair for Daddy. "Yes!" I reacted. Medicare would cover that, with a doctor's letter. So when I see Daddy this afternoon, we'll start that process.

But just to show that God is in the background working in His kids' behalf, I remembered the very nice, new, lightweight walker with a basket that Medicare delivered to Steve, but which he angrily refuses to use. I guess he has no concern or comprehension of the consequences of a bad fall, nor realizes he has such poor balance and that he stumbles often, because caregivers and I take his hand and lead him around, even in the house as needed. But that walker is the perfect solution for Daddy, who very realistically dreads falling and not only knows his limits but knows how exhausted he gets with very little effort. .

How did it occur to me to remember the walker left out in the garage? This morning Steve's caregiver got the idea on his own, to get Steve to practice with it a bit, but he loudly and vehemently refused, planted his feet and became very beliigerent as I watched unseen from a distance. We won't give up; we'll just wait a few weeks before trying again.

That walker may not help the intended user for a couple of weeks until my dad gets approved for a motorized chair, but God will use it to maintain dear Daddy's independence for a while longer!

1 comment:

  1. Not only are you in the sandwich generation, but your own hubby provides enough challenges for you. Adding your father to my prayers.