Her name is not important but I will call her Sophie. Sophie’s skin was thin, translucent like fine white porcelain. Her eyes were teal blue and larger than life. At the age of seven, Sophie had become quite ill with fever and cough that left her listless and lifeless. Even though I was an intern in internal medicine at the time, I was called upon to speak to Sophie’s parents. Sophie had a very adult illness. She had leukemia.
I sat down with Sophie’s parents and laid out the grim prognosis for their child. We could certainly begin chemotherapy at our university hospital, but eventually Sophie would have to be transferred to a much more specialized hospital. I will never forget the look of utter horror on her parents’ faces as they gripped each others hands and tears rolled down their cheeks. The mother swallowed and said, “We will take Sophie home. If we have enough faith, God will heal her.”
I haven’t written very many blogs in the past two weeks. It is because my family is in crisis mode. Wait! We always seem to be in crisis mode! But, this latest crisis (following on the heels of a recent prostate cancer scare)involves aging parents.
My father passed away in October, 2012 at the age of 98. I have written a number of posts about my father but I have never really shared much about the ordeal of becoming a parent to my parent. My father had his mind up until the week he died. Unfortunately, a lack of senility did NOT keep him from becoming childish. Our roles reversed and the last three years of his life were extremely stressful on me and on my two sisters. Nevertheless, I was grateful to have had my father with us for so long. He sang at his own funeral!
Now, my wife is having to make some very difficult decisions about her mother who lives with us. The caretaking is now taking a toll on my wife’s health. Someday, I am going to write a book about this adventure. It seems that more and more of middle age adults are having to care for their ailing parents. We are living much longer than ever and that is not about to change! Where are the manuals on how to care for an aging parent who is living into their 90’s? They can’t all be as spunky as Betty White!
So, a simple post today. Pray for my family and the very difficult decisions we are making. Pray for your own family for you may be facing a similar situation now or in the future.
On a happy note, I did receive an email this week about a new book contract this is all but a done deal! More work for me to do as an author and I’m loving it!