Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Beginnings

My father is almost 80 years old, and continues to be hospitalized for falls, infections, high and low blood pressure.  It is very hard to feel so powerless over the health and care of a loved one.  

My parents moved away to the California desert for warmth and retirement about 15 years ago.  They were younger and in fairly good health.  As they have aged, I have felt their distance more profoundly, in my sense of powerlessness to be available to help them on demand.  I have my own family in the Bay Area, and my sisters live in other states.  They too have the pressures and feel the demands of just getting by in today's economy.

It is of deep sadness to me that I cannot be with my father every time he is hospitalized, holding his hand and being the voice of the family to the hospital providers.  My father is shuffled between home, hospital and  nursing home, where he is sent to recover following every hospitalization.  Even when my father was young, robust and active, he was as stubborn as a mule.  He likes to say, "it's my way or the highway, baby!"  And, while I know he meant that in jest, I also had enough sense to take him at his word. 

Tonight, it is not his way. Tonight it is God's way.  I pray tonight my father feels the love of his children in his heart.  I pray that my mother knows she has support even though it is not right
around the corner as I would rather it be.  Tonight, I pray for my sisters, even the one who no longer speaks to me. I pray for their health and comfort.  And, tonight I ask God to comfort my little girl who wishes she could magically fix all the problems in the world and in my life so everyone would be okay.

My father is elderly and I am 47 years old. I am not a child anymore.  Yet, when faced with some of these "grown up" issues I revert back to feeling like a one.  I must call on my adult to be the first foot forward towards support of my parents and family.  My child can come along for the ride but she is not responsible for the causes or conditions of the situation. 

Jay and Loretta Book, March 16, 2006, #6984
(c)2010 James W. Murray, All Rights Reserved
(click on image for full-sized version) 

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