A New Reality

Adult daughter and senior father

Be kind and compassionate to one another . . .—EPHESIANS 4:32 [NIV]

Mom asked if I might come back home for a while to help her take care of Dad. She couldn’t miss any more work, and Dad could no longer be left alone.

When I asked the hospice nurse about Dad’s growing confusion, she said, “His lung cancer has metastasized to his
brain. His memory may betray him more and more over time. As long as it does not pose any physical danger to him, just go along with him. Don’t try to correct him or convince him otherwise. It will only upset him.” She started to leave, then turned back to me. “And try not to let his words hurt your feelings.”

One afternoon I read while Dad napped in his recliner. Suddenly, he woke up. “Quit throwing soda cans at my head,” he said, rubbing a spot on his forehead.

“I didn’t throw anything.”

“Yes, you did. I felt it!”

Didn’t he know I would never throw anything at him? I took a deep breath, remembering what the nurse had told me. “I’m sorry. I won’t do it again.”

Just then, my cousin Leona knocked on the door and let herself in.

“Hey, Sister! When did you get here?” Dad asked. Sister was the name Dad used for me.

Leona shot me a questioning look. I quickly waved my hand, hoping she knew I meant for her to go along with him. At least he was happy to see her—um, me.

Today's Prayer:

Lord, help me deal with the new reality graciously when my loved one’s memories begin to fade.

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