I don’t even know where to begin this post….
When I started this blog, I told myself I would be real. Even if it was so real that it hurt to write. My intention is never to call someone out, but I am so torn about what to do, so I fear it may come across as that. I’m also going to try to be very careful as to not be over-sharing someone else’s story. In fact, this post is written specifically for 2 people that are incredibly important to me: my parents. See, I figure if I have the balls to put out how I’m feeling to the whole world (the whole world reads this thing, right?), they have to give me some credit.
My mom’s health has been, well, not awesome for the past 15 years or so. She’s always been one to trip over the open dishwasher door and break a foot or sprain a wrist here and there. She’s currently encased in a cast past her elbow for a recent accident that left her wrist broken in 2 places. I’ve stopped being surprised at phone calls that start with “so, did I tell you what happened to my *insert body part here*.” Two hip replacements, something surgically removed here, something else surgically removed there… It’s becoming common. She’s crudely made jokes about being sad to not get to see my daughters graduate high school because she’ll probably be dead by then.
But, she did make the first major leap to taking better care of herself a couple of weeks ago. I honestly couldn’t be more proud of her.
When I think about my parents dying, I get angry. Wait… check that. When I think about my mom dying, I get angry. Because it’s like she gave up. It’s like she gave up before my kids were born! When I think of my dad dying… well, to be honest, I don’t think of my dad dying!
My dad. He’s impulsive. He lives like a child, finding new hobbies like someone changes socks. Rollerblading? Check. Tennis? Check. Model Airplanes? Check. South Beach Diet? Check. Flying helium-filled clown fish that is bigger than my kids combined? Check. In some ways, I admire it. He’s SO full of energy and life that it’s hard to get him to focus on one thing because he’s just so dang excited about X Y and/or (usually and) Z. On the other hand, it’s frustrating to see him step out into the street, eyes on the sky, to identify whatever flying object happens to be in his line of sight. Especially when we’re on a busy street. With my kids watching his every move.
But he’s alive.
Yesterday, I got a call from my sister asking if I had talked to my dad in the past day or so. I hadn’t. His car was in the driveway at his house, but he wasn’t there. Turns out he had been in the ER for as long as most people are at work, with nary a phone call!
As he so casually put it, he’d had a stroke (albeit “minor”).
My alive and childlike dad.
I still can’t believe that I got a call from him to say “so, did I tell you what happened to my *insert body part here*?”
His health insurance kicked in on November 1. His stroke happened on November 1. This was God’s timing. Wake up. To put it in terms my dad will be more likely to understand: God is like your GPS. He’s always telling you how to get to your destination but if you stray from the path, He doesn’t yell at you. He just “recalculates”… “recalculates”… “recalculates”… (Thanks to the pastor at church today who gave me that little analogy. I just wish my dad had been there to hear it himself). God still “recalculates” for you. He always will.
I’ve been praying for over a year that God would find a way into my parent’s hearts. I know they believe, but for whatever reason, they are afraid. Afraid of change. Afraid of possibilities. Afraid of leaning on someone besides themselves. Afraid of the Truth. Afraid of finding acceptance. Afraid of finding peace. Afraid of finding hope.
I’m afraid they won’t find God.