Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Living A New Path With My Father

One day I woke up and life changed forever. I became my father's caregiver. I could see it coming, I just did not see the path as it became so quickly.

When I decided to stay home with my father, to care for him, I was met with mixed feelings from friends, family and relatives.

In America, we are so blessed to have beautiful facilities such as assisted living and posh nursing homes to care for our aging parents. And many go there. They are quite pricey and often times when our parents need more care, Medicare does not cover it. So many families are left with little options but to care for their loved ones at home.

This is a growing crisis in America as the a significant portion of the population is elderly.

The choice to stay home and care for my father was not one I lingered over, as I did not have much of a choice. My mother died suddenly and unexpectedly and I instantaneously became my father's caregiver.

But what I have learned in the journey over the last few months is that for me, it is the right thing to do.

So many people from other countries consider their elderly a part of their family to care for until they die. The community, the village, and the neighbors all join in to make this happen. Yet in America, it is still a foreign concept. Why is this?

It is not easy to navigate a new path in caring for parents in America, albeit there are many choices...I am learning.

However, the journey can be difficult but beautiful. And for me it is just the beginning of a new day.

I did meet an older gentleman on an electric wheelchair while at the beach with my father. He told me that God would bless me for caring for my father. And he said that my dad was lucky to have me. He told me of how he went to great lengths to care for his wife for years until she passed.

Part of this new path for me is keeping the value of the human life at the forefront, even in a world where it sometimes is diminished for convenience and money. But in the end, it is the intangibles of life that make it worthwhile, and beautiful. And Jesus leads the way! Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. He creates life, He gives life and He takes life in His time.

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