Has it Really Come to This?

It’s a conversation I never wanted to have, a place I never wanted to go.  I wanted my Father to live out his years at home, to be around the familiar, even if he forgot this was his home. I prayed for this. I hoped for this. I wanted this so badly. And I still do.

 

But there comes a time when my Father’s needs surpass any care we could give him, when the emotional, psychological and physical toll is so great that we just can’t do it anymore. And this is where we are. My Mother has been his valiant caregiver since he was diagnosed and earned a lifetime of crowns in the past 14 years. If I didn’t need an income, I’d take care of him full-time. But no one pays you to take care of your parents.

 

I remember as a child playing the board game of Life by Milton Bradley. Everyone got a tiny plastic car to wind around the board. You spun the wheel and navigated through college, marriage, children and retirement. And pay day. Depending on how much money you had, you either retired to Millionaire Acres or the Poor Farm. Funny how there never was a nursing home or assisted living facility on that board game.

It was all about chance. Spin the wheel and try your luck. You may get hitched. You may have triplets. And you may owe the hospital thousands for your little bundles of joy. But at the end of the day, it was a game. And even if you ended up with no money, you could fold up the board, put the pieces back in the box and walk away.

 

But Mom and I can’t walk away. We can’t shrug our shoulders and say, ‘Better luck next time’. This is our time. We only get one lifetime. One shot. And this is it.

 

The game of Life has morphed over the years, rewarding people for good behavior and adding room for precious pets. The goal though, is still to end up with a pile of cash. Even though in real life you can’t take any of it with you. And even though the most important thing in life are the people in your tiny plastic car.

 

I am a Daddy’s girl. And just the thought of putting my Father in a home is like riddling my heart with bullet holes. It’s enough to push me headlong into a dark abyss of deep depression.

 

But there is something I’m holding onto – or that’s holding onto me – that’s keeping me from that abyss. I don’t have a few thousand dollars hidden under the game of Life. I don’t have a lucky spin or a few stock options up my sleeve. In fact, I don’t have anything tangible that I can point to. But I still have something.

 

Unlike the board game, my life is not about chance. It isn’t about luck. Truth be told, I’m not even spinning the wheel. I turned that over to my Daddy long ago. My Heavenly Daddy. When I grew so exasperated with trying to control everything, I relented and asked Him sit in the driver’s seat, a seat that’s much better suited for Him. Because His love for me is perfect, and because He loves my earthly Father more than I ever could, I know that whatever happens, it will be ok.

I don’t believe in chance. Not when it comes to my life. Since God considers my life (and everyone’s) so precious that He would die for me, then I know that my life is not left up to chance. I know that He has a plan and His plan is not to harm me but to prosper me, give me hope and a future. The same goes for my Dad.

 

My earthly Father has limits. But my Heavenly Father does not. He can do anything, including anything beyond what I could possibly imagine. He is not limited. He is not restricted. And because His love for me is perfect, I can trust Him with an uncertain future.

 

I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know how many spaces are left before I get to the end. But I’m ok with that. I’m just going to keep my eyes on the Sovereign One in the driver’s seat and keep loving the people in my tiny plastic car.

 

If I can do that, then I know I’ll win.

14 thoughts on “Has it Really Come to This?”

  1. Angie, my heart breaks for you – it’s a difficult time. My mom has already had to make the move I to nursing care. I know the caregivers there are better equipped to care for needs now than I am. And as Robin said, I can be the daughter now. It’s still a hard road……
    You’re words about your Heavenly Father loving our earthly loved ones more than we ever could and that it will be OK we’re just what I needed to hear!
    Thank you.

  2. After reading this, my heart is broken for you. You have been through so many challenges over the last few years and although you have your faith to guide you through the ups and downs…it doesn’t make it any easier to handle emotionally. Please know you are always in my thoughts and prayers and that I am always here whenever you need me. Love you dear friend!

  3. Angie, our heavenly daddy will continue to carry you and the whole Vineyard family through this new part of your journey. My prayer is for you all to know His presence, wisdom, and peace. You are loved and lifted up in prayers.

    1. Agreed, dear Angie. We are praying for wisdom, discernment, peace, provision, guidance, and strength during this season. We love you. 🙏🏽✝️❤️

  4. Angie,
    You are a very talented author and amazing daughter to your precious dad. I love you guys and I am here to help in any way I can. You are absolutely correct, God has your dad and all of you in the safety of his arms.

  5. It was the hardest thing Mom ever had to do for dad. WE just remained faithful that God would take care of dad!!

  6. Sweet Angie, although you must,feel that this was probably one of the most painful excerpts that you have written. and although it is truly one of sadness, yes – but more about love, faith, loyalty, truth, and as always, your words are filled with infinite wisdom and anough humor to balance out the tears; and in the end, you always point anyone who is affected by your words to the only One who is able to go beyond our limitations and finish the race in His inconceivable love and power..Again, how does anyone walk this journey without Him? Prayers for you and your Mother, as you follow where He leads, and for your Dad that above all, he would feel your tremendous love.

  7. Angie, have known and loved your Mom since we were at Pi Phi School together, and have loved your Dad since I first met him.
    I know this is so hard, but your Mom has done the best she could for as long as possible. My prayers are for good decisions and for no guilt feelings when the decisions are made. Nancy

  8. Oh Angie I feel your pain and the struggle. As I have told so many over the years, when this time comes, now you can just be the daughter and leave the care to the professionals. There is no shame or regret. God has equipped some special people to do the end of life care that y’all physically can’t. Praying for you!

  9. Yes! My sweet friend! As you already know how much the Heavenly Father loves you. Which you have eluded to, this is a testimony!
    We will have trials and tribulations, through it all , the important thing I want you to hear is , your Yes! Each time you have had said to what the Father as called you too, it brings Him delight!
    In the Journey we need to keep our eyes focused on Him at all times. For He is your sustainer.He is all about relationship! Your conversation with Him in and through this, let Him hide you and every step. Let go of your plan.
    That’s what I did with my son and now doing with my daughter. It’s hard when your in the midst of it.. so easy to take control. I know and He knows that!
    He is not disappointed with you… He is loving you in the journey.
    I will Be Praying for Godly wisdom!
    You have not failed nor has your mom in this .
    There is a time you need to let go and let God . God loves your Dad!
    Sometimes those we care about become our idols, I can say that as it was for me with my kids.
    I became consumed and overwhelmed that it was causing me to be sick emotionally and physically! I could hear the whisper of the Holy Spirit say.. come back to your first love.
    It’s in that secret place where your secure. You can hear more clearly what the Lord is saying to you!
    You are amazing!

  10. Angie,
    …very inspiring Angie!!! I needed to read the words you so eloquently wrote. Life is so full of many difficulties. Praise God that we know He carries us through each and every one. I know the heartbreak you are facing as I experienced the same decision with my Mother. You also are earning many crowns over the past 14 years.
    How do those without Jesus face life?????
    God continue to bless and strengthen you and your Mother.
    love, Nancy

    1. Praying for you, your mom and for your dad during this difficult stage it life. I told God I really hate this part of life since it’s so sad and heart wrenching. I was overwhelmed with fear, anxiety, sadness, and some guilt when I put my mom into the care facility and then in hospice. You have to lean on God and trust in His promises that He will not leave or forsake you but will equip you and your mom with what you need to do what you need to do. Praying for you and your family that God will pour out His comfort, strength, peace, hope, love, and presence throughout this storm in your life. For me it was the most hardest and scariest time but God carried me through it and I know for sure He will do the same for you and your parents. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” Psalm 46: 1-3. Cry out to God He hears our prayers as well as our heart. Love in Christ, Bari

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