Here is a late Mother’s Day post for you. I wrote this originally as a guest post for a fellow blogger but decided not to send it because I selfishly wanted to share it here. This is my Mother’s Day tribute to my mother.
A daughter’s love for her Daddy
I’ve heard it said that regardless of your age, you are always a child until you lose your parents.
Earlier this year I was made painfully aware of this saying as I watched my mother care for her father as his health began to fail. I’ve always known that my mother was a strong woman. I have always admired the strength of her character and fierce devotion to everyone that she loves and I’ve esteemed her desire to keep peace and love and grace at the center of our family and in all that she does.
In the care of my grandfather, my mother was completely (and at times painfully) devoted.
She always called him Daddy. He was a strong man who lived a big life. His career was a vital part of who he was and how he identified himself. He was well-regarded in his profession. He was a lover of life and laughter and music and sunshine and a good steak. He was a man devoted to his family.
When he retired, a part of his identity was taken away and he lost himself in alcohol. Relationships eroded and when he needed a place to recover seven years ago, my mother opened her home to her Daddy.
When his care required more than her home could provide, my mother found an assisted living facility nearby and she continued to care for him. During that time, my mother, and often only my mother, would visit him. She took him to have his toenails clipped because they were painful to him. She was with him when he lost his teeth and tried to help him learn out how to care for his dentures. She loved to listen to the stories of his glory days. She made sure that he could watch his NASCAR races and record them on an old VCR that wasn’t exactly compatible with the headphones or TV that she bought for him. She did everything that she could to keep his life comfortable and stable and dignified.
Her Daddy passed away while she was by his side. She saw his last agonizing breath. She had endured the pain of watching his body fail and had made peace with God that he was at the end of his life. She prayed for grace and peace and no more pain for her Daddy, and her prayers were answered.
My mother is the strongest woman I know. I already knew this from the perspective of being her daughter. It was truly illustrated to me as I watched her care for her Daddy as his.