by Laura Harris
In December, my family moved in with my dad. It was supposed to be a temporary stay as we got our house ready to sell. A few days prior to our move-in date, my dad had a sudden decline in his health. We were able to get him stabilized, but he has slowly gotten worse. It became evident this summer that he can no longer live alone. Robb & I decided to permanently reside with my dad so he could continue to live as independently as possible.
Our current living arrangements have caused frustration for me and my dad as we decipher new boundaries and expectations. Oftentimes, I am abrupt with my dad as I feel inconvenienced by his constant need for assistance. Those who know me well know that patience is not my strongest attribute. My new role as caregiver requires more patience than I have. I’ve had to rely on God for help, asking for a gentler and more loving attitude when interacting with my dad.
English poet and playwright, Joseph Addison, is quoted as saying, “Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of pains, losses and disappointments; but let us have patience and we soon shall see them in their proper figures.” I know that caring for my dad is a way of honoring him as a parent, as God commands us to do. This unforeseen situation has provided me the opportunity to spend meaningful time with my dad, which we haven’t done in decades. What seems like a trial now will be looked back upon as a blessing in the future.