Good Fight

Written by Nancy Predmore

“Honor your father and mother” Exodus 20:12

We all know that part of the Ten Commandments. I am sure that I have said that to Delainey when she is being sassy with me. What we don’t always realize is how hard it might be to do that as our parents age. 

When I met Jim’s parents, they were very active.  His dad worked, even after he retired. He didn’t miss a single event that his grandsons were in. His mom never sat still.  She was always cleaning, cooking, or doing a word search.  They decided to sell their house and move in with us because they were concerned that they were aging.  At first, it was great. They got to spend time with D, we had family with us, and we all got along.  It was an adjustment, but we thought it was going well until Jim’s mom wanted to move home. It was after they moved back to Indy that we started to notice how much his parents were aging, and it wasn’t good. Things like paying bills, balancing the checkbook, and taking medicines were not happening as they should. We all realized that they needed to be with us again. Thankfully, they were in our home when his dad had a stroke.  We were able to get him care right away, but he was no longer the strong, active man that he used to be. And through this, Jim’s mom started down the path of Alzheimer’s.

Remembering to honor your father and mother is hard when it seems that the roles are reversed.  They were still Jim’s parents, but they needed more care than Delainey some days. There were days that we all yelled and cried.  There were days that we all enjoyed each other.  But there came a point, when COVID was just beginning to rear its ugly head, that we couldn’t provide the care for them.  It was hard.  It felt like we were taking the easy way out by moving them to a long-term care facility.  We felt (and still feel) guilty for not being able to do more…for not honoring them as we should. 

Jim’s dad adjusted to his new home.  The staff tell us how much they loved him, he always had a story to tell and made them laugh.  We didn’t get to visit due to COVID, but we called and checked in. We lost him this past February after a very short illness. Jim’s mom is still fighting.  Some days are better than others, but she still doesn’t think of the care facility as home…she still wants to come back home. We just have to remind her that she is home when we are able to visit…stupid COVID limits those visits though.

I hope that they felt honored by us. I know that we tried, although we failed many times. They deserve all that we were able to give them. They have fought the good fight, just as Paul says in 2 Timothy.  And isn’t that what we all want to be able to say at the end of our lives?

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” 2 Timothy 4:7

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