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Open the bottle—honor the Father

1963As the third of four kids, time alone with just Daddy and me didn’t happen very often.

So this particular morning was unusual in many ways.

As we waited for his name to be called by the receptionist behind the counter, water_bottlehe grew thirsty. Could he drink before this scan?
Yes, the receptionist told me, and handed me a water bottle.

I passed it to Daddy. He tried to twist it open.
But he couldn’t.
He couldn’t unscrew the top on a water bottle.
He was too weak.

I watched. I waited.

I didn’t want him to have to ask me. He didn’t want to have to ask me.

But he had to. I opened the bottle, and handed it back to him. ford_truck

The moment wasn’t lost on either of us. 

I know this stuff happens. I know the natural order of events is that parents grow weak and die, while their children step up and be strong.

But that doesn’t mean I like it. 
I don’t want to be the stronger one.
It’s always been him.

God doesn’t say I have to like it.
He just says do it.
Honor your father and mother.
Open the water bottle.

The doctor gave him bad news.

The next doctor gave the same.
And added a prayer.

The third doctor, ditto.
And added advice to us kids: No lecturing your dad about what to do next. Provide support. Hug him. Love him.

To my ears, I heard: Honor your father and mother.
In life. Through death. On the other side.

2004 So, along with my precious siblings, I fill a prescription when he’s ready to take medicine. I chauffeur him to a doctor when he decides to go. I fix a meal when he’s hungry enough to eat.

And I make arrangements for what to do when he’s gone.
When I can’t honor him in person. Only in spirit.

Because that’s what God wants me to do. 
Honor the Father by honoring my father.
And because that’s what I want to do.  

So it will be.

* * *Walk with Him Wednesday @ Holy ExperienceFor more “stories He’s writing with our lives,” join with others at Holy Experience.

My Walks with Him


Joyce said...

Lisa, This is a journey that is difficult. Watching my dad get weaker was hard for me. He was the first man I laid eyes on and fell in love with, he was strong and always there for me. Now as I see my mom slowly falling into his steps and carring on life without my dad. As a child and older I always loved my dad's hands I'm so glad I had a photographer take these photos. Many hugs my friend! xo...

Jackie said...

Wonderful post! My mom is 91, slowing down now and ready to meet Jesus. My heart aches, my emotions raw and tears flow when I leave her. She thanks me often for honoring her, "opening water bottles" and chauffeuring her to and from doctors appointments.

I feel so blessed to honor her and do things for her she's no longer able to do. She's my mama, a strong woman of God and an inspiration to me.

"Thank you Lord for a special grace upon us as we travel this journey of aging parents. May your Love and Comfort overshadow these precious ones that gave us life and pointed us to You"......

Thank you for this post. It blessed and encouraged my heart today!

Sweet Blessings!

JAS-- said...

It is a hard thing to learn how to honor our aging parents, to allow them space and as much independence as is safe for them. But it is a privilege to love them into eternity.

Lynn Severance said...

You are walking the road, step by step and your Father, who also loves your father is right there with all of you.

Not one precious moment is unimportant and all moments will be treasured in days to come.

Walking with you -

Lisa notes... said...

Thank you, sweet friends. How comforting it is to me to know that this path, even though difficult, is well-trodden by believers who are willing to share their encouragement with me now.

Blessings to you all! I feel strengthened by your words today.

Karelin said...

I too am in this situation with my father-in-law. I pray that your strength will be renewed each day. Remember, honoring our fathers comes with a promise, "that it will go well with you and you will live long on the earth" (Eph. 6:3). Aloha *;)

Angie said...

Oh, what you are going through has to be so hard. Thank you for opening youself up and sharing your heart with us. I hope I say this right.....your words are beautiful even though they have to come from such pain. God Bless you!!

elizabeth said...

Praying for supernatural strength and peace for you and yours. Much love to you.

denise said...

Bless you in your obedience to the Father.

Laurie M. said...

I'm so sorry.

Dorothy said...

What a testimony to your love for your father, Lisa! I continue to pray for you and your Dad as you walk this difficult road.

In His love,

P.S. I love that picture of your Dad standing at the back of the pick-up truck!

Unknown said...

been there, done that, my brothers and I handled matters that typically orderlies (do they still call them that?) would have done, it was an odd combination of degradation yet protection in that we took care of matters instead of a stranger, of humiliation and care that restored pride and dignity, hang in there, tough lessons but making your actions one of honor is definitely the right away to go


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