I started my week with some sad news. One of my best friends from college, Tammy, lost her dad Sunday night. He passed away after suffering from the horrifying disease, Alzheimer's.
I don't think it had been 2 full years since Tammy called me in tears when he was diagnosed. She knew I could relate on a deeper level since I lost my mom years ago this disease and my dad was diagnosed almost 10 years ago now.
Hearing of Tammy’s loss broke my heart and hit me hard. It caused me think about my crazy life and to be thankful for my dad.
It is so hard for me to think of losing my dad. As I journey with him through his diagnosis of Alzheimer's it’s on my mind a lot that the craziness of traveling 220 miles one-way week in and week out, being away from my husband and family 3 days at a time will not be forever. Things are not easy and I am often tired but I am also thankful to be able to help take care of my dad.
This week my heart was also overjoyed with the love of a very special kiddo.
Tuesdays are Owen days. Owen is my 23-month old grandson and he is a blast! We have spent Tuesday's together since he was 6 weeks old. We very rarely miss our time together. But last week was he was out of town at his other grandma's house and I missed my Owen day.
So when this Tuesday came around I just couldn't wait to spend time with him, to just focus on him and do whatever he wanted to do. It is funny to me that one of his favorite things to do is to climb on top of a chair or the playschool slide (we have in our living room when he visits) and stand there, look around pretending like he's not looking at me and then just fall into my arms.
This week he added the wonderful sound of his sweet voice saying, “Graham” (which is what he calls me.) as he fell! It just melts my heart to have him fall into my arms, calling out my name, laughing, looking for a hug, maybe even a kiss or two, followed by some tickles too.
Spending the day with my Owen was just what I needed!
After my day with Owen I was praying for Tammy and her family. Letting go is so hard to do. As I prayed for them the Lord brought the image of my Owen to mind.
Owen falling forward with all confidence into my arms lovingly calling out my name with a smile and a giggle and no doubts that I would be there to catch him.
What a beautiful picture of trust!
With that image came a challenge from the Lord, do you trust me, like he trusts you? Are you trusting me with your daddy and his health?
To be honest my answer is it depends on the day. Some days it is easier to trust than others. When dad has an off day or he struggles with a caregiver I want to step in and fight for him. Tell the doctors to change medications, or find new people to help with his care. And though these might be things I need to do, what God reminded me that day was that first of all I need to jump into His arms and let him love on me and then go do what it is asked of me.
I am trying to remember to do that each day. Turn to Him first in trust and then go take care of the things life requires.
I still dread the thought of my dad’s passing but I am trusting that when it is time to let go of my dad I will be able to just fall face first into my Heavenly Father arms and trust him to take me through the saying goodbye part of this journey too. I don't look forward to it, I know it won't be easy but I also know that my Heavenly daddy will always catch me and I will be ok.
I’m so thankful for the reminder God gave me of His love for me through my Owen! How does God show his love for you?
Thanks for sharing your heart Rayna. What a heart felt expression of falling into Gods arms and trusting him.
I can say ditto, ditto. God shows me His love through my grandchildren! When I see them, they run to me with open arms, a huge smile, and jump into my arms or give me a big hug and I know they are delighted to see me! It seems to me, that every bit of wear and tear that has been on me, just melts away as I receive their love and then give some of my own back! That’s a display of the Father’s love for me!
Rayna, when my Dad passed away, the grace of God was so tangible. He gave me the ability to let go with peace and joy knowing His race was over and I was picking up the baton to carry the family legacy (in part) fulfilling what he asked us to do. I had peace for I had been there for him. I had joy because he was now in heaven, pain free and happy and I had purpose because I knew their was still work for me to do…in a way, some of it, for him. I have had very little grief, in a sense. As the apostle Paul said, we don’t grieve the way the world does. Do I miss him, absolutely. But God has been gracious to me in the way that He has comforted me by giving me His gifts of peace and joy. May God continue to bless you and sustain you and keep you in His perfect peace. I love reading what you write, it’s so beautifully said from the heart!
Thanks so much Marlene, your words of kindness are greatly appreciated! I also appreciate you sharing your experience with losing your dad.
Beautiful lesson and image. <3 Thank you for sharing!
Thanks for this. God shows me his love when he sends people to encourage me especially on days I am down. He shows me his love through my children as well.
Thanks for visiting my blog Detola, I’m glad that it was an encouragement to you!
Thanks Rayna. Losing a parent his hard. I loss my day 23 years ago and mom 21/2 years ago. So sweet with your grandson.