Sunday, April 28, 2013
Getting a Shave
A few things are constant when I visit dad in the nursing home. Immediately upon walking in I always find myself drawing in a big breath in preparation for what condition I might find him in, and then there's always the same elderly man that I pass on my way down the hall. He's always sitting in his wheelchair in front of the window with his devoted wife holding his hand and her undying faith urges him to speak to her once more. Then there are those who sit in the same chairs in the dining room. They gather there three times a day and each time they navigate to the same spots over and over as if it's been routine for years. Maybe it has, and then I consistently begin to wonder. What is their history? What brought each of them to this point? What happened to them, and do they have family that visit? These things are constant, but as I continue to visit I realize more and more the importance of two things. First of all the importance of the relationships I am creating in my life. I hope I'm making a priority of building relationships that mean something, and that last. Second, I hope that I am using my time wisely, and taking advantage of all of the things my healthy body can do. This one hit me hard yesterday as I watched my mom shave my dad's face. It's been years since he has had the luxury of doing this on his own, and I realized yesterday how much happiness it would bring him to do this simple act all on his own. It's made me realize even more that it's the little things in life that matter most, and I'm grateful that I can continue learning from dad through this experience even when at times it is so painful.