I am at the age where my parents are aging and quite frankly dying. September 24, 2018, marks the 7th anniversary of my Dad’s passing from this realm into the eternal realm. That journey was very difficult to walk out as I watched my once proud, in control “stiff upper lip” Englishman of a Dad lose all control over his emotions as ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) took over his body and gradually paralyzed him so he could not move, could not talk and most of the time did not know who I was. He did know how to cry though and would be grinning one minutes and sobbing the next. There were many days, I found myself out in the hallway trying to get my own emotions under control.
Now my brother and I are dealing with our Mother who has an undiagnosed dementia and is declining. We are in the process of invoking our Power of Attorney rights to ensure her finances are managed properly and her bills are paid on time. It is very difficult for these roles to change and harder I think for the older members of our family as deep down inside they are facing their own mortality.
It is a huge responsibility and one that is often not appreciated by our loved ones. It is human nature to resist change and the changing roles I am describing are the ones none of us want to face and yet we must. I find as I navigate this mine field and try to avoid the explosions of anger, resentment and accusations of wanting control etc., I am forced to my knees in prayer.
Psalm 139:16 “all the days ordained for me were written in your book of life before one of them came to be.”
I trust God with my life…it is vastly harder to trust Him with the lives of my parents. Yet we all come to these crossroads in life because no one lives forever. All of us are mortal and one day someone will do the same for each one of us.
So I encourage each of you to:
1. Cherish the time you have with the elders in your family.
2. Talk to them, not at them.
3. Tell them you love them.
Remember that God loves them and holds every moment of every day of their lives in his hands. Only He knows the day and the hour of their death. Only He knows the day and hour of your death.
Put your trust in Him completely.