In the last 24 hours, my oldest son got remarried, in a simple ceremony at the wedding chapel in the County Clerk's office to his fiancee, the wonderfully supportive woman God brought into his life. Our daughter Heather, photographer, shot the ceremony, and the gathering we had for dinner with friends and family was warm, loving--and hilarious. Sean and Pam have great friends! Best of all, Sean's sons and Pam's girls get along beautifully, making for a well-blended family.
At about 11:15, I arrived at Emeritus Villa de Anza for a last visit until the facial class I'll be giving for the female residents there in late October. Daddy was pretty excited, had all of his boxes lined up, and got busy hanging up his shirts with the hangers I brought. We didn't need the suitcase I'd lent him last week, made heavy by the matching satchel inside it, so I rolled and carried that out to the Jeep first. Nothing like getting a second workout after my aerobics at 6 a.m., followed by lifting and emptying a wheelbarrow full of weeds into a dumpster! I had many Facebook friends praying, so much so that I could feel a sense of calm and good humor that the Lord gave me for this move. Proverbs 15:13 says,
A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
Further, Proverbs 15:15 states,
All the days of the afflicted are evil, but he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.
When I think of my journal entries over the last month, I see a person with an afflicted, sorrowful heart and a broken spirit. It was the result of trying my best, with the help of medical, pastoral and social work professionals and the family, to logically convince my father that with his late-stage bladder cancer, metastasized to his bowel and kidneys, along with his blood-swollen legs, it was unsafe for him to return to living alone. He just didn't want to spend the money to stay in a safe place with an alert button for 24/7 assistance, meals, cleaning, field trips to local stores and venues, laundry and personal help. The cost is equal with other assisted living residences. And TriCare for Life, the military's long-term residential care fund for veterans, would have reimbursed him. So refusing to allow me (his power of attorney for medical and financial matters) to call and make arrangements to help with the costs; and then refusing to see his primary care doctor before he left Emeritus, were strategies to:
: keep complaining about the cost, though he can afford it
: keep from being told by his doctor that he could no longer live alone
When strange, accusatory statements started, it was hard to even have a conversation with Daddy, so I received wise counsel to accede to his wishes and try to get help for him at home. Will he consent to pay for Meals on Wheels or Visiting Angels homemaking and errand services? I have no idea. I'll just see if he'll allow them to visit and inform him about their programs. As for today, I had my daughter place some milk, bread, lunch meat and bananas in his kitchen to he could make simple meals.
It was a hard physical day for me, loading and unloading my dad's belongings singlehandedly with his walker as a rolling cart, but as we ate our Vons deli sandwich and salad, it was like old, rational times.The big argument was over. We'll see what Dr. Fox says on Tuesday.
I know that I did my best as the Lord led me, to keep him safe and cared for as long as possible, but now my dad is accountable to the Lord for his own decisions--both temporal and eternal.
May they lead to a healthy mind, soul and spirit!