I have spent the last few days entering and exiting the Veteran’s Administration Hospital, where my Dad is going through a very serious time with his health. My brother and I shuttle our soon to be 86-year-old mother back and forth to the hospital daily, in order for her to spend the majority of each day at her 90-year-old husband’s bedside.
Yesterday, I sat in the chair next to my Mom and watched them discuss his condition, the amount of pain he was in, and his rehabilitation. Their exchange was sprinkled every now and then with a joke, a wink from Dad at his bride, a good laugh about their kids and grandkids, or another memory of days and times gone by.
The main thing that my Dad speaks of these days are his thankfulness for all of his blessings and his unwavering willingness to place life and its outcomes in the hands of God.
I have been getting a first hand, real life, invaluable lesson in the handling of apprehension, uncertainty, and yes I would say even fear. I have learned that these challenges are best tackled head on with faith, love, comfort, and the presence of your family and friends. I have been reminded yet again that faith gives you dignity in the midst of very trying and painful experiences.
I have learned to be even more thankful for my life and its blessings as I slowly walk the VA hospital halls with my mother, passing, smiling at, thanking, and sometimes feeling sorrow for all of the brave men and woman who depend on a daily basis for their healthcare and collateral services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs. This assistance seems to me in some ways but a small consolation for their sacrifice, courage, and bravery in the defense of all of the freedoms afford us in this great Country.
I guess the main thing that I have learned is to try harder each day to wake with the courage to face my own fears and worries with a renewed faith, fortitude, and positivity. A renewed faith and fortitude to face my fear and worry about my own mortality. A renewed strength to stand up to the fears and worries of parenting, that have us all as parents praying constantly, searching out our ability and strength to provide for our children until they grow up and can provide for themselves.
I will try harder to stand up to the fear and worry about my children’s health and protection from all of the dangers and negative influences of this modern-day. Instead of worrying about their safety, success, and happiness, I will try harder to claim it in their lives. I will also stake a claim in my desire to be able to positively share in their life circumstances with them for years and years to come.
I can only hope and pray that I can do these things in the days ahead armed with the same faith and dignity of my parents!
Read, learn, and share…Have a Family Meeting!