Monday, January 14, 2013

I feel like things are changing for me again and I'm sure you'll see those changes reflected here on my blog.  Some of you will be REALLY happy (because many of you have said you miss my cycling posts and my posts where I share a little bit more than what card I made and what supplies I used.)  Some of you will probably just skim if there's too much writing, and that is totally OK!!

I am back in school and trying to finish up my degree.
I have been very dedicated to my spiritual journey and have been reading my scriptures more.
I am at the point where I get to come face to face with the fact that my parents will not live forever.  

My dad has been sick for many, many years.  He has smoked for most of his life and has suffered from bleeding ulcers, which led to the removal of most of his stomach.  He is very stubborn and has cheated death many times, but now he has shrunk to a mere 89 pounds, must be fed with a feeding tube and is becoming more frail.  He spent Thanksgiving in the hospital.  He spent Christmas in the hospital.  I'm hoping we skip Valentines Day.  

We have had to have all of those difficult conversations about his wishes and I am trying to find a balance between allowing him to continue to live the life he chooses to live, and the fact that our roles have reversed in many areas.  Instead of him telling me to be careful.  I'm reminding him that he has to use his walker.  He used to make me eat my vegetables and I'm reminding him that he shouldn't eat anything at all. Yesterday I got to babysit him while my step-mom was away.  You would think that would be an easy task, but the stubborn man fell coming back from the bathroom because....he didn't use his walker.

I am grateful that I do not have to do this alone.  I have a wonderful, attentive step mother who has become like a nurse to him.  I have wonderful step-sisters that are kind and loving and help more than I do.  It has given me an even greater appreciation for how differently we were raised.  I can see why my Dad loves them all so much.  They are so affectionate and caring.  Where I am stiff, they are warm.

It looks like my Dad will continue to provide opportunities for me to learn.  Now my lessons will be about compassion, kindness, care and empathy.  
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