On February 20th, our dad turned 87 years old. That’s not all that unusual these days, but it wasn’t that long ago people only lived for an average of 40 years. The Bible even says man is given 3 score and 10 years which would be 70. So we consider ourselves extremely blessed to still have him in our lives.
Daddy has been one of the hardest working men I have ever known. He began working as a young teenager and hasn’t stopped until recently when his health forced it. Idleness is one of the toughest things for a workaholic to face.
In a recent blog post I shared that Daddy had decided to move to an independent living community. We made that move a couple of weeks ago, but the independence he was counting on was cut short by a hospital stay with fluid building up in his lungs because of his Pulmonary Fibrosis. Back in the day, brake pads were made with asbestos and Daddy breathed a lot of those fibers in his work environment. That and all the grease-laden dust and dirt from his 60+ years in the automotive repair business manifested itself into this lung disease.
Pulmonary Fibrosis has a normal life expectancy of 2 to 5 years. Daddy is in at least his 9th year!!! He’s beat the odds by a huge amount. But now we find that the disease is winning this fight. There is no treatment or cure. About 2 months ago, he had to begin using oxygen on a regular basis. His heart rate was rising too fast when he exerted himself even just a little bit.
Now his blood pressure has dropped dramatically and his doctor hasn’t been able to find a way to increase it. This makes him very weak. His appetite has waned and he’s lost a significant amount of weight.
We had one of those difficult conversations with the doctor yesterday. Daddy was already homesick, so with this new knowledge we decided he should return home if that was his wish. Being at Herritage Elite would have been easier. My sister and I could go home without worry because the staff there was so loving and attentive. His meals were prepared to try to encourage him to eat. They cleaned his room and washed his clothes. It was our heart’s desire that he would be happy and content with his new surroundings.
But he really wants to live out the remainder of his life in his home of 50 years and we can’t be upset with him for that. There’s no place like home. So today, we moved him back into his home; the place where things are familiar and comfortable. Yes, this is much more work for us. We do have some help starting on Monday, but Debbie and I will be having to spend nights and weekends. We will have to plan meals and shop for the necessary items. We will have to pay his bills, wash his clothes, and clean his house. It will radically change our lives for this next phase.
He is our Daddy and we love him tremendously. We will do whatever is required to honor him and love him and support him. That is what he has done for us all our lives. We are blessed to have this opportunity and even though it means sacrifice, even on the days we’d rather not, we will walk with him toward the sunset where angels will be waiting to escort him into the presence of Jesus. Until that day, we will take him for rides, let him visit his business, take him to eat wherever he wishes, make sure he gets to the beach house, and visit anyone he wants to see. If you know our dad and live close by, please stop by for a short visit. We would love to see you.
We covet your prayers for his comfort and contentment and wisdom for all of us.
All my love, Sharon