Friday, October 13, 2006

Updates on Dads and Books.

First of all, I'd like to thank those of you who have been praying for my dad's health. It is a tough time. Fathers aren't supposed to get old and weak.

Yesterday I stopped up to see him and he was just so frustrated with being in the hospital. We estimated that over the past two and one half years, he has been hospitalized nearly a year of that time. I think longer but I'm probably wrong. It certainly seems like it.

I was successful in getting him to walk to the hallway, where we got him in a wheelchair. I pushed him down the hall where he could actually see out some windows onto the activities of others as they went about what they think is important. He's getting very reflective. Openly so. He wasn't always that way. He's always been the sane, in-control business type. Now he seems more the overwhelmed human being.

I love my dad. And I've always wanted to be like him even when I was so mad at him for never being there when I was growing up although I do have a few brief memories of us together when I was a kid. I was just reminded of one of them when I saw this. One night he took me out to our backyard here in Illinois to see an actual aurora borealis. You hardly ever see them south of Canada. I remember just standing there amazed at this thing as my dad said "That's an aurora borealis...the 'northern lights'". I can still hear him saying that. It was one of our rare moments.

I'm very proud of him. I told him that a couple weeks ago.

He made a passing comment about his arm being shaky. Usually he has a fork in his hand and he jokes about how it's the fork that makes him do that. Dads aren't supposed to get older and have these problems. That's a rule somewhere, I think.

I can tell I'm getting more protective of him. Yesterday I asked the nursing staff for a gait belt so I could walk him. They gave me one, then after I walked away asked if "I got permission from physical therapy". I firmly let them know it was up to dad to walk if he wants to, not physical therapy to "let him" when they aren't doing it per schedule. Besides, I think it was more an issue of the staff not wanting to take the time to help him. I say that because they seemed to have plenty of time once I had him on his feet. Before that, they were just talking to each other. It was a year or so ago that the hospital was purchased and transformed from a non-profit to a profit system. And it shows. Staffing is down and, with it, care. I've recently applied for work there. I'm currently part time at a nursing home 15 miles from here. If I can work at the hospital on an "as needed" (prn) basis, then I could make some extra income and be there for him next time. I'm up there lots anyway...

He's sick of being in that place. He said he was going to get out today and that "he has to". Well, mom was able to talk him into staying but it brought tears to his eyes. He is so tired of being there. I don't blame him. It was in 2002 that I was there for barely a week with a bone infection and I was going nuts.

No, he's not giving up. Mom is sure of that. He is fighting. But what is hard is that it seems like every time he goes home he's a little weaker. Generally he can walk a hundred feet or so by the time he gets out. This time he walked ten feet before he had to sit down.
His appetite is down. Maybe because of boredom. I'm trying to talk him into letting us wheel him down to the cafeteria where we can have coffee and visit somewhere other than just in his room. He doesn't care for that idea. He just wants out!


I've just finished the first chapter in "Above All Earthly Pow'rs". My main problem is getting lost in the details. There are lots of subtlties. Things that make you stop and reread a sentence a few times. And my attention span isn't what it should be. As I've said before, I'm more of a listener than a reader.

The gist of what I read in the remaining part of the chapter has to do mainly with the disappearance of God, the disappearance of the human nature vis a vis character and the emergence of pragmatism and the getting of results. That's what the Enlightenment and Modernism gave us.

While I was reading this part of the book I was reminded of how so many believers tend to have their own little worlds, wear "I'm Ok" masks and don't get involved in one another's lives. I think that this is partially due to the pragmatistic autonomy that Wells alluded to in this chapter. It's all about what things appear to be, even while they have no substance. We are immersed in self-indulgence that has crept in from the western civilization around us. It's all about "me me me". Consumerism. The goal is to have more and then still get even more just so you can put on a good show. Gone are the old days of character and virtue and, may I add, contemplation.

It was a long chapter but I think that distills it down. This would be a great book for a group study. I think it would help one from getting lost in the details.

The next chapter is shorter. It's involves post-modernism. I'll get a start on it later today or tomorrow.

Again, thanks to all of you who are praying for my dad. As you can understand, he is so precious to me -- especially now as he and I spend the kind of time together that we never did when I was younger.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like the LORD is blessing you abundantly in your interactions with your father. What a treasure for you and him. Kim

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update on your dad, Tim. And for the northern lights video!