I was having a conversation the other day with a friend of mine who was sharing a few things from her heart. We will call her Mary. Mary was speaking, I was listening. She was sharing the fact that her 94-year-old Father was not doing well, and that she visits him every week.
Now, the front part of this is the fact that the love in her life, John, had passed away just a year ago, after a short, painful battle with cancer. On top of that, while John’s cancer was diagnosed, and being treated, Mary also was battling recently discovered cancer.
She continued to share with me. Despite her own illness, and dealing with the emotional trauma of losing John, she continues to spend time with her ill Father every week. I had shared with her before in a previous conversation, how I too had lost loved ones, and what I did to cope with the agony and sorrow related to losing four different family members, all at various stages in my life. Now, in this new conversation, when she was finished sharing these pieces of her life with me, I shared the following response, that I felt was important to share with you.
The most important relationship in a person’s life is the one we hold dear to our hearts with “Living” parents. You, young lady, are THE most important person in your father’s life. It is so wonderful that you see him as often as you do. You STILL are his “Little Girl”, and will always be. As he is finishing the last chapter in his book of life, you are the lead character in his book, and probably have been for many years now. Keep it up. You are his Heroine.
I told her that whatever her father was dealing with, health-wise in this last chapter of his life, she was a comfort to him, that her relationship with her Father, was and continues to be, THE most important relationship in his life right now. Of course, Mary is close to her Father and loves him very much. Again, despite her own health issues and her continuing grief and mourning over losing John, she continues to put aside her own troubles to visit her Father.
We all wish that our children remain close to us, and some of us fear living out our last chapter in our lives alone, in some Rest Home named Happy Days Adult Care Facility.
I continued to explain to Mary, that her love and respect for her Father, her weekly visits, will continue to be a wonderful part in the last chapter of his life. That in her selflessness, she would be blessed with healing in her heart as well as her body. I shared with her that it obviously was a normal thing to feel the intense pain and sorrow in our hearts immediately after we lose someone close. That over time, our hearts do heal, and that our memories of our loved one becomes part of the healing process. Goodness and mercy does influence our physical health in a positive way as well.
So, the message to people that read this, that have a parent or parents that are living out the last chapter in THEIR book of life, BE a part of your parent’s life. If you place them in a “Rest Home” and forget about them, except for a holiday visit or two during the year, they are NOT resting, they are emotionally suffering, on top of their physical suffering whatever that may be.
I don’t know how the word REST originally appeared in our vocabulary and was paired with the word HOME. We normally use it in the phrase REST IN PEACE, or RIP. When you are living out that last chapter in your life, the worst thing to happen is that you live out the remaining years ALONE, except for the caretakers, nurses, and the dude next door that just walked by with his pajama bottoms down around his ankles, leaving a trail of shit behind him. This was the last chapter in Grandpoppy’s life, my children’s Grandfather on their mother’s side. I was without a vote when the two sisters, sister-in-law married to a very successful, very rich doctor in NYC, placed him in a really shitty nursing home. I don’t think she ever visited her father in that “home”. The alternative was to hire a full-time nurse to care for him in his home, which they sold for half a million dollars while he was still alive, barely existing as a human being in that fucking nursing home (scuse my French, it upsets me still when I think about it).
If you are suffering yourself, your compassion and love towards others is medicine for your body and soul. Goodness and mercy follows those that show goodness and mercy to others. Selfishness, (not a good karma thing) is something that brings suffering eventually, so work on being selfless.
Hate begets hate, try LOVE. It’s actually quite simple. Become an overcomer. Overcome all the negative things in your life. You might say, “That’s easy for YOU to say”….Well, I’m 68 years old, and STILL working on it. I HAVE overcome many negative things in my life, and replaced the negative with positive. I KNOW you can do it as well.
Strain: GrandpasBellyButtonLint, harvested October 23rd, 2017
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