Love Wins Every Time

I had a house once – a 2-bedroom bungalow nestled just outside uptown Charlotte with towering trees in a quiet neighborhood. I loved living there and loved that I could do whatever I wanted with that 1940’s house. With an arched doorway framing hardwood floors, I painted the living room a deep cranberry red with sand mixed into the paint to give the walls texture and hung my favorite pictures above the fireplace. I chose a calming Martha Stewart green color for my bedroom and loved how the morning sunlight cast a dappled shadow on the floor. I loved to cook in my kitchen, baking bread for neighbors or dinner for friends. It was my home, a place I had hoped to lay down some roots.

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I had finally gotten to the place in my career where I was making a living solely from my writing. But as an associate editor for a weekly newspaper, I was still on a tight budget, so my home was minimally but lovingly furnished.

 

There was something so liberating about having my own small corner of earth. I could let my creative juices run wild and then change it all up again the very next week if I chose. It wasn’t just a place to eat and sleep. It was an open canvas and I alone held the brush and all the paint.

 

Soon my career took me to Washington D.C. and eventually, I parted ways with my small corner of earth. After nine years of renting, I relocated back to Georgia and moved in with my parents to provide care for my Dad. Back to the same house my parents built and laid down their roots in 1982.

 

I gave away some furniture and stored my stuff in their garage. This was not my house. This was their house. This was the house I dreamed of leaving as a teenager and making my own mark in the world. And now I’m back.

 

When a caregiver invites their loved one to move in with them, you give them their own space and do whatever it takes to make them feel at home. But when a caregiver moves back in with their parent to provide care, it is virtually impossible to escape the resounding truth that you’ve put your life on hold.

 

I do not feel like I am living my life. I feel as if I’m living someone else’s life. But it isn’t the life I wanted to live. I am not living on my own small corner of earth anymore. I don’t really have a blank canvas and someone snatched away my brush and paint. But only temporarily.

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I know that one day, I will move out of my parents’ house…again, and once again live in an atmosphere of my own making. I’ll pick up my brush and paint and let my creative juices flow as fast and as furious as they choose.

 

I’ve learned that if love is about anything, it’s about sacrifice. And at this point in my parents’ lives, the best thing for them means I give up my ability to have a small corner of earth for now and choose to live in theirs. If I must choose between having my own house or giving my parents the best quality of life, there is no comparison. Love wins every time. Life is all about seasons and this just happens to be my season for taking care of them. They brought me into this world and took care of me as a child and now I get to return the favor and put into practice what they taught me. And if I don’t know how to truly love someone, then I could have the most beautifully decorated house in town, but it would never be a home.

 

For now, I am content to binge watch HGTV shows and load up my Pinterest boards with ideas. And when I do move into my own place, it will mark the end of one season and the beginning of another. In the meantime, I am choosing to enjoy this one. After all, I can have my own place anytime. I can’t say the same about my parents.

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0 thoughts on “Love Wins Every Time”

  1. I have always told my children that I have done everything I have wanted to do for them. My son , Jim use to say “ You and Dad could live in a log cabin up in the mountains, like you always dream “ I would tell him, Jim we have chosen to be here and allow you go to school of your choice and wherever Kristen wanted to go because we love you and believe in you. Even with my son in Heaven , I still would make that choice.
    I know God has something very special for you, He is behind the scenes preparing that place and your soul mate.
    I just found out yesterday a missionary friend who has been single up till now at age 50 found her soul mate.
    Hold on He has something spectacular for you! It will be worth the waiting!

  2. I have really enjoyed reading your entries. It has been really hard. I think the hardest part has been the feeling of guilt. My mother is in a nursing home. She is not happy and I don’t think she will be unless she is home, where she lived for over 65 years. But, with the Alzheimer progressing daily, needing 24/7 care,that is not a option.Help
    with any advice.

  3. I remember that house! I remember the movie night we had with several other friends of yours. It was fun! I’m sure you will be rewarded another place of your own in the future for your endless love you show to your father. They were fun times, huh?

  4. I have been reminded again today from your most recent inspiring blog of how much my daughter, Renee’ has given up of her life to care for me and my husband. I am doing so much better now and am able to carry most of the responsibility of care for Tom but I can always count on Renee’ if it becomes necessary to have her help. Your insights have been an encouragement to so many and like myself we thank you for sharing this season of your life and your parents. That’s what families do is a favorite saying I hear from my daughter numerous times when I fret over how much of her life has been interrupted. God bless The Vineyard family is my prayer for you and your parents. Jeri Boswell

  5. Angie this made me cry. You are an amazing writer and an even more amazing daughter. How lucky your parents are to have you.

  6. Angie,
    I want you to know that you are not alone in that season of life. I once had it all….. In 2004 Life pulled the rug from underneath me and for 12 years, after a family tragedy, I moved in with my daughter and her husband. Then the past two years I moved from my daughter’s home to Michigan to help my son who was seriously ill. I stayed with friends and even had to rent short term apartments, which are very costly. Living on a fixed income made this very difficult and the debts began to mount. I would do it all again in a HEART BEAT. I don’t have the big beautiful home and $$$ in the bank. However, God has been so faithful in providing for my needs. He has taken the ashes from various tragedies and swept them into a pile and made so many beautiful things that I could never even imagine. There have been times when I have been so exhausted and wondering where or how I would pay the bills. God always proves to be faithful. My son is doing great! He is finishing his undergrad and going into seminary next September. Married to a beautiful Christian woman. My daughter is moving to Michigan in August with her husband because his next military assignment after D.C. is Selfridge Air Force Base in Michigan. This is the first time our family will be together since the tragedy of Robbie’s murder in 2004.
    We are now in a “new season”. God blesses obedience! Stay strong!!!!

  7. Angie, what an active and sacrificial part of honor, you are living out in Exodus 20:12.May God truly bless you as He gives you a new pallette of paint some day! it will contain shades of colors that eyes have never seen before!

  8. The truth lovingly spoken. Life surprises us and I love your faith in God, your willingness to share, and that the faith you have gives you peace in the present and hope in the future.

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