Hope Through the Clouds

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“The weather looks………prrrretty good for landing.”

Those were our flight attendant’s words before landing last night on the second portion of our flight from Atlanta to Chattanooga. I found they lacked confidence. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who found his tone to be less than reassuring because the man across the aisle from me let out a small chuckling “huh.”

Everything turned out just fine. We landed with no problem, I made it home to my own bed, and I’m now typing these words. However, the experience reminded me of how much of an impact the delivery of our words can have on other people.  We have the ability to offer hope or to crush hope.

Our flight attendant’s slight hesitation last night really didn’t put me at ease as we descended through the cloudy and foggy sky. I closed my eyes and thought about how I might write about the experience the next morning.  That is…if we did in fact have a “prrrretty good landing.”

******

I just spent the last week trying to deliver my words wisely as I conversed with my dad. He wanted me to tell him if I saw any improvement since seeing him a year ago. I told him the hard truth.  “No, Dad, I don’t.”

I went on to gently tell him that I know he has only been focusing on Plan A but maybe he needed to start considering a Plan B.

Over the week, the words didn’t sink in the way I was hoping they would. He is not willing to accept that he will be spending the remainder of his days in an assisted living home rather than his own house. I don’t blame him for not wanting to believe this, but my brothers and I don’t see any other affordable solution.

As I said my good-byes to him yesterday morning,  he mentioned again that he hoped to be walking by the time I returned for another visit.

“Okay, Dad, I love you.”

******

Nothing would make me happier than to, one day, eat my words. Nothing would make me rejoice more than to see my dad stand up and walk.  And, I would gladly proclaim my mistake from the mountaintops… I was wrong!!

12 thoughts on “Hope Through the Clouds

  1. Carol Peterson

    It’s hard to see our parents decline. Mom (91) will never leave her wheelchair now but she zips around the place walking her wheelchair along with her feet. There’s still a quality of life there and her life still has value. It’s good when we can see that and reassure our parent so they can see it too. Part of life is that things change.

    Best wishes.

    Reply
  2. Cheryl E.

    Thanks for sharing your heart today, Eileen. Know that I am praying for you as you walk through this hard time with your father. Your posts encourage me as we walk along similar paths with our dads.

    Reply
  3. Jan Macy

    I returned home Monday from spending 17 days with my 91 y/o parents. I also tried to use wisdom with my words. They WILL continue to live independently.

    I loved your comparison with the hesitation in the flight attendant’s words. I understood completely since I descended and ascended through the clouds into and out of Pittsburgh PA as the attendant announced it was raining. Not comforting to me.

    It made me wonder how many times my words are not comforting or encouraging. Made me realize how powerful our words really are – and that we do need to use wisdom before we speak.

    Thanks for sharing

    Reply
    1. Eileen Post author

      That is so hard Jan. It’s amazing to me how it’s almost like we get “amnesia” when we get older. My dad would often beat his head against the wall talking about this stuff with his 90 year old mom. And now my brothers and I are in the same boat. Change and loss of independence is scary. Thanks for you, Jan!

      Reply
  4. Jennifer

    I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to have to deliver those words to your father. I pray the Lord’s will over his life today. And that whatever His will be, that your dad will accept it and rejoice in the savior. I pray your dad will see Him ever present in his life. God bless you today.

    Reply
  5. Chris Monahan

    Beauty and pain displayed here in the same set of words. That says something good about you.
    Though you are (relatively) young, I sense your wisdom. I believe you see the time you have had — and will have — with your dad as the blessing it is.
    I lost my mom nearly 3 1/2 years ago (to cancer) just past her 68th birthday. I admit I cope by not thinking of her most days, because I miss her so much when I do.
    I hope your dad thanked you for treating him with honesty and dignity. May I add my thanks for that as well as for pouring so much heart into your keyboard. Your heart undoubtedly is enormous.
    May God multiply your blessings.

    Reply
    1. Eileen Post author

      Chris, I’m very sorry. I know how difficult it is to lose your mom and I know how bittersweet the memories can be too. Although, I have learned over the last 22 years of not having my mom in my life that those memories have become an incredible blessing. It might not seem like it now (and that’s okay) but one day I hope you can think of her and the joy outweighs the pain. Thank you, friend.

      Reply

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