Sunday, July 22, 2012

A full day

10:01 p.m. Today's project was to take Steve to visit my dad's new home, a studio apartment in a large and beautiful assisted living facility. Steve's the only one who has not been involved whatsoever in Daddy's health trial, but I had no intention of  upsetting him by taking him to a hospital. He would immediately think I was dumping him there and would run out in a panic. Steve showed very little reaction to hearing that Daddy was really sick until the 3rd time I brought it up, which was earlier today! Then he got a little red in the face, and did look worried. I recognized that he is still able to "weep with those who weep" (Romans 12:15).

We had a very good church service, got some gas, and went over to my dad's house in Redlands to pick up several outfits and dirty laundry, gather some snacks for his kitchenette, and get rid of any spoiled food in the refrigerator. Daddy wanted his bar soap, and needed towels. I also made sure to gather family pictures.

Having Steve with me, directing him simply to follow me from room to room; and then asking him to help carry a few items, proved very frustrating. And the high temperatures outside--and inside--didn't help! When we were carrying out the fridge items, I asked Steve to handle the insulated bag with a big ice chunk in it. After closing his hands around the bag handles for him,  and saying, "C'mon," he set the bag down! Begin again, I asked him to carry out the small yellow bucket in the kitchen which contained spoiled food like heads of lettuce. I stayed right with him out the front door on the way to the dumpsters, when he set that bucket down, too, to pick up fallen lemons from the tree on Daddy's front porch. They aren't good ones, but Steve wouldn't recognize that. (And that wasn't the point of what we were doing).So I came back from putting family photos in the back of the Jeep, retrieved the trash bucket and emptied it into the dumpster.

It's just a fact that Steve doesn't know what everyone around him is doing, no matter what it is; neither time frames, deadlines nor schedules.  So I settled back down emotionally, and saw that Steve was comfortable, finished my checklist and placed him in the Jeep. I decided to go home first for his meds and some lunch while I did the laundry and caught up on some orders from yesterday's party.

Blessed are the merciful,  Jesus said,  for they shall obtain mercy. (Matthew 5:7)

As we pulled up to Daddy's building, I was praying hard that Steve wouldn't think he was going to live there. He cried out, "Wow!" and very slowly followed me to Daddy's patio door.Steve and my dad were very glad to see one another, and Steve got settled into the recliner while Daddy enjoyed his location by the TV. I placed all of Daddy's things around the apartment, telling him the items as I went. Once a teacher...

As we sat visiting, Steve began to get himself worked up, like he'd just noticed something derogatory, started muttering angrily, and got up out of his chair to take off out the door, his typical reaction these days--it's ambulation without realization. Knowing what was happening, I said, "Steve, this is Daddy's place. He's the one who lives here! You're not going to!" [Sadly, they wouldn't take Steve anyway, because he needs 24 hour supervision. It's a choice for independent, relatively active retired seniors. It's not a locked, secure facility such as Steve will need one day.]
Walking down the hallway to dinner, with daddy coming behind with his walker, made Steve tense up again, so I said, "It's just like a hotel, isn't it," and pointed out the very good paintings, activity room, library, and the large suites some residents have.

Dinner was calming, except for the reminder of why Steve and I  don't eat out. But he managed to eat most of his chicken (cut up by request), and his side dishes. A busy day came to a relaxing end, as the worship leader for the 6:45 church service strolled into the dining room and began singing and playing a praise song on his guitar. Daddy opted to go on back to his room, but perhaps next Sunday he'll make it to the 9:30 a.m. service.

Thank you, Lord, for giving us hope, and for strengthening my dad for the final phase of his life!! 

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