Friday, March 15, 2013

When You Don't Know What to Hope For

Well, I came back from my long blogging break, wrote one in-depth post, and then disappeared again for a couple of weeks. But I’ve had a very good—or very bad—reason.

I had already started my next post. It was going to be called “When You Don’t Know What to Hope For,” and this is how it was going to start:

In The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda has some pretty tough criticism of Luke Skywalker’s potential. “This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away…to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph.”
That was always me. Trying to dash through the boring routine and get through the waiting. Thinking the good stuff was out there on the horizon. We always tend to think of waiting and hoping for something good—like publishing a book and becoming a successful author, for example. But now, I’m faced with waiting through a situation with no good outcome, at least not in the earthly sense.
My dad has been getting more and more frail and sick, day by day. He and my mother can’t be left alone, which means my sister and I are either at work or taking care of Daddy about 95% of the time. Sometimes it feels as though it’s been going on forever…and will continue to. Even though we’re happy to do all this for our dad and mom, it’s exhausting and sad, and sometimes we feel trapped.
And yet…what do we hope for? We’d like some normalcy and freedom again, but we don’t want to lose our precious father. With him being 85 years old, with an incurable and progressive condition called microvascular ischemia, there don’t seem to be any good possibilities out there.

So that’s what I had started writing. And then suddenly…the wait was over, and my dad was gone.

Daddy at home in 2008.
Isn’t that the way of this life? Sometimes it’s hard to remember that nothing is permanent. Life is change, even when it seems as though we will wait forever.

It’s too soon for me to say anything terribly profound about all this. I do know that—most of the time—I valued those times with my dad. There were many days I was able to enjoy his sense of humor, his gratitude, his sweet smile even in the midst of all we were going through.

I believe the secret to the days ahead will be to focus on the eternal, the good things that really are out there on the horizon, beyond this world, for those who love the Lord. And my daddy did love the Lord.

I’m not there yet, but I’ll keep you posted.