Today my heart and my prayers are focused on my 84 year old father. For many years he has suffered with various degrees of dementia that have led to other physical issues, like lack of balance that left him unable to walk. For more than a year he has lived in a care home, steadily declining.October 2008 at my nephew's wedding weekend
Last fall, when he was wasn't eating, he was given a feeding tube to ensure nutrition, but still allowed to have ice cream, pudding and any other soft foods he would accept. Eventually he began choking and aspirating even small spoonfuls, so all feeding by mouth was stopped.
My mother, while in the midst of her own health battles spends time at the care home each day, sitting with the man she's loved for more than 62 years. The pain of watching him slip through her hands over the years is beyond my imagination. The process of grieving for someone lost in dementia is ongoing.
Mom has discussed with doctors and nurses that his condition will not reverse. He will not become more aware, or grow stronger. He does not talk or interact with anyone. His face shows signs of nothing but despair. Throughout our lives, he always said that if he was ever in this type of condition, he would rather not live. So Mom has chosen, with great courage and sorrow, to release him. She is letting go.
As of mid day today, no nutrition will be provided, simply hydration through his feeding tube. He has strong vital signs and the dying process could take a week, or two, or longer. Only God knows, and now Dad is in His hands.
Rick and I had planned tavel south to visit in a little over a week, so I should be there to say goodbye. I pray for boldness, to whisper in his ear about the love of my Savior that he never met. I pray that Jesus breaks down the door to his heart and introduce Himself. I pray for peace to surround us all as the God of all comfort wraps His loving arms around us.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 NIV
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