I talked to my dad on the phone the other day and listened to him say, again, “I’ll try not to bother you too much.” Sometimes I think he says it just so he can hear me say, “Dad you’re not bothering me.” I think he needs this reassurance. I think, from time to time, we all need this reassurance.
The other day he called me and was completely confused. He asked me where I was. When I told him I was at home he said he thought I was in town. We talked some more.
Then he asked me who was watching Sean. I told him I was watching Sean, remember, I’m not in town.
Again, he told me he thought I was there. My dad sleeps a lot and so I asked him if he had just woken up. He said he had.
“Dad, I think you must have had a dream that I was there visiting.”
“Yes, I think I was dreaming.”
He also calls me sometimes and tells me how he walked around Francis’s (his caretaker) house.
“Was Francis there with the gait belt to help you?
“No, Francis wasn’t there.”
“Well, how did you do it?”
“I used my cane. Francis doesn’t think it’s safe but I can do it.”
I don’t know what to say anymore when we have these conversations. I visited my dad last month. He can’t get out of bed without assistance. A few times, I took him out to lunch. It was my first time trying to transfer him from his wheelchair to the car all by myself. It was so difficult. His paralyzed side is completely out of commission and his “good side” does almost nothing to help.
At first, I used to correct him when he’d call me on the phone and tell me about walking that day, but I don’t anymore. Instead, I just listen to him share about his day. I end up saying mhmm quite a bit.
Sometimes I wonder if the dreams keep him going. He walks in his dreams. He waits for me in his dreams. He drives a car in his dreams. He goes home in his dreams.
One thing I’ve been learning since my dad’s stroke over 2 years ago is that offering hope sometimes means that I just keep quiet and listen. I let him talk about the afternoon he walked around the living room. Because, sometimes, the one thing you want more than anything else in the world is a dream still waiting to come true.
My dad loves Michael Buble…this one’s for you dad. I love you.
This morning I read Ephesians 3:20 in my quiet time. I’ve always loved the Message translation.
“God can do anything, you know – far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.”
Wishing you all a beautiful hope-filled, dream-filled beautiful Christmas.