Hard Conversations

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My son and I are heading back to Arizona a week from tomorrow to see my dad.  It’s hard to believe it’s been 11 months since I made the trip out there. My plan was to head back last Spring but when my husband received word in February that his job was coming to an end, I thought it best to postpone the trip until the “chaos” subsided.

In all honesty, I’m not really looking forward to this trip. A few months ago my dad asked that when I return for a visit, I be the judge on his recovery. He wants to know if I notice any significant improvement. He wants the truth.

As many of you know, he suffered a stroke about 15 months ago. It happened one night while he was driving 75 miles per hour down the interstate. That detail right there still freaks me out when I think about it. I am thankful that my prone to stubbornness dad had the sense to pull off the highway onto a frontage road, and call for help when he started to feel funny.

It’s a miracle he’s alive today.

He didn’t call 911, he called my brother and left a slurred, almost incoherent, message on his voice mail. His last words before ending the call…I’m sorry to bother you.  My brother was in the shower when his phone rang. When he got out, his wife remembered to tell him that he missed a phone call. Had my brother not checked his messages, I’m not sure my dad would be alive today.

From speaking to my brother, who sees my dad all the time, I already have an idea of the hard conversation I will be having when I get to Arizona.  Deep down, I think my dad knows the truth, he just doesn’t want to believe the truth.

This is it dad.  You are now completely dependent on others to get out of bed, to cut your food, and to use the bathroom. This is as good as it gets. 

How do you say that to your dad?  How do you say that honestly without squashing hope?

If you have any suggestions, please let me know.  I would appreciate your prayers. Please pray that the Lord will shine His amazing light into the darkness…that He will accomplish what only He can do.

“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. Ephesians” 3: 20-21 Message

13 thoughts on “Hard Conversations

  1. Debra

    Father God, I lift up Eileen into your arms to love, guide and protect her. Father guide her and show her how she should talk with her dad about his recovery. Father I never got to speak with my dad after his stroke, show her she can still speak with hers. I don’t know what to tell her but Father you do. Be with her on her trip and give her the spirit of love and life she has and help her pass that on to her dad.” In Jesus Name I pray Amen.

    Reply
    1. Eileen Post author

      Thank you for this, Debra. I count it a blessing that I do still have the ability to talk with him. I appreciate the reminder.

      Reply
  2. Loretta

    Hey Eileen, I will pray for you and this hard conversation, this hard time. Father God, go with Eileen, and give her the words to say…

    Reply
  3. bill (cycleguy)

    I don’t relish being in your shoes. I was there when my mom went to be with jesus and in the final stages of a rapidly advancing cancer. She knew she couldn’t do certain things and needed help. It was still hard on her and me. I pray God’s Spirit will fill you with wisdom to know what to say and how to say it.

    Reply
    1. Eileen Post author

      Bill, this is one thing I appreciate so much about blogging…you are reminded how you are not alone and people have been there! Thank you!

      Reply
  4. Chris Morris

    Eileen,

    This is so hard. My heart breaks for your dad, that he has to come to grips with his diminished independence; my heart breaks for you, because honesty like this is hard. I don’t have any answers, but I will be praying for you

    Reply
  5. Cheryl E.

    Eileen:

    I have commented on your posts before sharing that my dad suffered 2 strokes (11 days apart) 20 months ago. I also live out of state from where he is. We had the hard decision of placing him in a nursing home because of his weakened, bed-ridden state, and inability to talk. It is very hard when I visit him to realize that this is how his life is and will be from now on. So sorry you are walking through this difficult time. Cling to Him. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!

    Reply
    1. Eileen Post author

      I remember you sharing this with me Cheryl. My heart goes out to you as well. Thank you for the encouragement and the prayers.

      Reply

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