On our previous visit, I walked with Dad, holding his hand while he used his cane, and we went around three "laps" -- from his recliner through the dining room, out to the kitchen, and then back again. By the third trip, he was perspiring and needed to sit down and rest. As we walked on those indoor laps together, I couldn't help but remember all the times I would "walk" with Dad around town or while on vacation. Truth be told, you couldn't really just walk with my dad; he went SO fast on those long, long legs of his, I had to run every 10 feet or so just to keep even. We walked the 3 blocks or so one summer evening over to Uncle Marv and Aunt Lois' house, and I was probably in my teens at the time, and I remember being winded by the time we got there. The picture at the top is of Mom and Dad in the Alps,and he looks healthy and pleased, probably because he reached the top before all those lollygaggers.
As hard as it is to watch his body fail him, it's great to see that his faith is stronger than ever. I am amazed and humbled when I see how he is dealing with all of this. I had posted previously that he is intent on representing Christ well with everyone he interacts with throughout this journey. Another couple of examples just in the last day:
- The previous morning, Dad's overnight CNA stayed about 20 minutes past the end of her shift to help clean up. This morning, Dad was awake at 6:00 a.m., and eager to get up and dressed, even though he usually doesn't do the morning routine until 7:00. But he felt badly about the home health care aide having to stay over the day before, and he wanted to make sure she wasn't late getting finished today.
- This afternoon, a different health care worker was transferring him from the wheelchair into his bed, when his finger got pinched in the chair. He winced, and she apologized immediately, and Mom asked what had happened. Dad jumped in, "Nothing, it was an accident," not wanting the aide to feel badly.
One might say, he was just being polite, and in one way, that's true. But when you've been stripped of your ability to do nearly everything, and you can still care about others before yourself, THAT, I believe, is a power at work that is beyond yourself. That is having Christ's love and concern for others so deep in your heart and soul that it keeps working even when everything else doesn't work. So, while Dad may have no steps left to take on his own, he is walking in step with his Savior. And it is a beautiful walk of grace.