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Day 314: Compassion for My Father - Never too Late

I am just now getting a chance to blog. It was a long day. It started with a very pleasant breakfast with my mom.  We usually have lunch each week, but a very rushed one after my morning classes. But I am on spring break from the music center where I teach every Saturday morning. So we were able to languish over omelettes at Tom' s Restaurant, an old family tradition. The owner stopped by and said hello. He always remembers my name.  This is heart warming.

Speaking of heart warming, my mom showed me a note my father had written. It is hard to type this because I am tearing up.

I sent a "form" home with my mom last week for him to fill out.  He has been declining, mentally and physically. Even before his stroke and now his diagnosis of Parkinson' s, he seems to have lost interest in life. His day consists of breakfast, sitting in a chair, napping, watching a movie on television and sometimes going out to eat with my mom.

My dad has never been very kind to us.  But he is pratically a genius. He built a shop on our property to house all his projects. He painted, composed music, worked on cars, built furniture, worked with wrought iron, wrote poetry. Now he sits.  And sleeps.

So I sent home a form with a check list. One form was daily goals.  Another was long term goals, aka a "bucket list".  At the bottom of the forms, I wrote, "It is important to exercise body, mind and spirit daily".Lists and goals have always worked for me. Well, look at this blog!

I did not expect him to cooperate. But he did.  He wrote two lists. At the bottom of one page he wrote, "How can I find inner peace and spirituality at the end of my life?"

I looked at my mom. She had tears in her eyes too. "I have waited a long time for him to say something like this", she said. "At first I thought he was joking".

My father has been quite the tyrant to his whole family for over 50 years. I know he comes from a place of pain. But it has not been easy being his daughter. Now that he is elderly and ill, we have come together for him. He told my mother that he has a good family.

And now, he is finally seeking God. And I am truly happy for him.

I wrote down a few of my favorite scriptures. And I recommend they read the Psalms out loud.  I was going to leave a voicemail of myself reading a psalm, but I was afraid that might be a bit over the top. So I am going to write him a letter with a psalm. And send it. Old school style, stamp and all.

Never too late.

But I am very tired. Our chamber group performed at a free neighborhood concert at a church in North Portland. Wonderful. Small crowd, but it gave us a chance to really feel our music and get immersed in the moment.

Afterwards we immersed ourselves in good food and drink at the Kennedy School. I had pomegranate hard cider and a blue cheese burger on a gluten free bun.
I am so thankful for my musical friends.

But I am going to work out extra hard tomorrow.

And pass out after I post this!

Here is my psalm of the day. I read it through tears after breakfast with my mother. Feeling thankful that my father is showing compassion at the end of his life. It means so very much.

I do believe in prayer. Lately his name is on every page of my prayer journal. 

Happy Saturday!
Psalm 9

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will recount all your wonders.
I will rejoice in you and be glad,
and sing psalms to your name, O Most High.

See how my enemies turn back,
how they stumble and perish before you.
You upheld the justice of my cause;
you sat enthroned, judging with justice.

You have checked the nations, destroyed the wicked;
you have wiped out their name for ever and ever.
The foe is destroyed, eternally ruined.
You uprooted their cities; their memory has perished.

  But the Lord sits enthroned for ever.
He has set up his throne for judgment;
he will judge the world with justice,
he will judge the peoples with his truth.

For the oppressed let the Lord be a stronghold,
a stronghold in times of distress.
Those who know your name will trust you;
you will never forsake those who seek you.

Sing psalms to the Lord who dwells in Zion.
Proclaim his mighty works among the peoples,
  for the Avenger of blood has remembered them,
has not forgotten the cry of the poor.

Have pity on me, Lord, see my sufferings,
you who save me from the gates of death;
that I may recount all your praise
at the gates of the city of Zion
and rejoice in your saving help.

The nations have fallen in the pit which they made,
their feet caught in the snare they laid.
The Lord has revealed himself, and given judgment.
The wicked are snared in the work of their own hands.

Let the wicked go down among the dead,
all the nations forgetful of God;
for the needy shall not always be forgotten
nor the hopes of the poor be in vain.

Arise, Lord, let men not prevail!
Let the nations be judged before you.
 Lord, strike them with terror,
let the nations know they are but men.


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