A Complicated Gift

Woman sitting on a hill

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.—COLOSSIANS 3:14 (NIV)

It was mid-morning, mid-COVID lockdown when my brother sent a text in our group chat: “I’m sending you each $200—from Dad.”

It had been five weeks since I’d been able to visit my dad, because of the quarantine. With a new year came a reset of allotted rehab days on Medicare, and so he was off Medicaid. When you have Medicaid, your monthly allowance is about $70. Now, though, he had access to his retirement money. Dad’s never been good with money. He’d buy expensive watches, fountain pens, gadgets. Twice, he’s received large settlements and frittered the money away, always promising to pay off our student debt, only to not follow through. It’s been a point of contention in his relationship with each of us.

I was grateful for the gift. I went to Aldi’s and bought enough groceries for six weeks—not something that’s usually feasible with my day job. I spent it all. I called my dad after I got home. His voice sounded strong and cheery as he shared about his day and asked what I was doing.

“I spent $200 on groceries. I’ve never done that before,” I told him.

“That’s great,” Dad said about my haul. Even though he hadn’t always come through, at this time, when it cost him, he’d given of what little he had.

Today's Prayer:

Lord, help me to accept in whatever ways my loved ones are capable of showing their love.

Adapted from Strength & Grace: Daily Devotions for Caregivers, a new publication from Guideposts