He’s Teaching Me

by Mollianne on October 19, 2015

Daddy and me

He’s teaching me. Daily, he’s teaching me. Things I need to know, but not necessarily things I want to know. Because knowing them comes at a price and that price is hard. Definitely hard lessons.

You see, my Sweet Daddy has Parkinson’s Disease. I never knew much about the disease until it made an unwelcome entrance into our family.  My grandmother had it and so does my Sweet Daddy. It is debilitating and ugly and there are moments when I want to rage against it.

But then I watch him. His attitude is one of patience. His countenance is one of peace. His smile still quick, his eyes still twinkle. Sometimes, when he’s struggled to do something difficult and I ask him if he is okay, he’ll look at me and wink. I’m learning about asking for help and graciously accepting it as I watch him. I’m learning about picking my fights not wasting energy and time on things I cannot change. I’m learning about accepting my path and the rocky roads and leaning on God for help in those times. Yes, he’s teaching and I’m learning.

Parkinson’s may be robbing him of his physical strength, but it is not robbing him {or us} of his wit and his intellect or his faith. Or his love. Or the fact that he lives his life with his eyes on the final prize, as he always has.

My earliest memories include my Sweet Daddy. Rocking me to sleep as he sang. Holding me up in his arms where I felt safe.  Why! I could almost see the ends of the earth in Daddy’s arms, he was so tall! The way he loves Mother, modeling what lifelong love and companionship ought to look like. Teaching me how a husband ought to love his wife and children.  Setting a high bar for any other man in my life and fortunately, I have found a man who can meet those exacting standards. A man of faith, honor, integrity and fidelity…in many ways like my Sweet Daddy in his character.

Daddy and Mother

Recently, we sat around the table to celebrate my Mother’s birthday. My children and grandchildren were with us. At the end of the meal, as so many times in my life, we lingered at the table. Daddy told stories and jokes he’d told countless times before and we all laughed at the Legend of Falling Rock, as we always have. A few rolled eyes at the corny jokes, but we loved hearing them again. I looked around the table and saw those I love dearly, 4 generations of my family represented, and I thought I perhaps saw a glimpse of heaven.  For surely I was in the midst of the communion of saints, and echoes of loved ones who have gone before us were laughing at the same stories and were evident in both physical characteristics of those around the table, as well as temperament and character.

Time seems to occasionally wrap around on itself. The same man who taught me about love, faith, courage and character is still teaching me the same things. The perspective is different, but he’s teaching me. And I’m trying very hard to learn the lessons he’s teaching me. And the lessons my Father is teaching me as well. Even though the lessons may be hard, they are good. Because its never to late to learn and the lessons he’s teaching me now are valuable. I pray I learn them well.

Donut Daddy

~Mollianne

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Joy DeKok October 20, 2015 at 9:43 am

What a beautiful post! Thank you. I learned so much from God while my Mama walked through the valley of dementia. Like your family, ours loves to linger at the table. Some of the best things in life happen there. If you like good country music, you might like the song Mama’s Table by the Oak Ridge Boys. I get tears in my eyes every time I listen, but that’s okay – they are a tribute to the life she and Daddy created for us. So, I listen often. Thank you again for this beautiful post from your heart.

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Mollianne October 26, 2015 at 5:25 pm

Thank you, Joy. Such a blessing to walk through this season with my parents.

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Lisa October 20, 2015 at 1:14 pm

I love this post. I’m so sorry that your daddy has Parkinson’s but I felt the love of your family for each other and your love of God in every word!!

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Mollianne October 26, 2015 at 5:24 pm

Thank you, Lisa.

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