Conversations with Dad

A week ago, we moved my dad to a skilled nursing facility. My mom and brother took Dad over to the new place while I packed up a suitcase with Dad’s clothes in it.

A simple task.

But it wasn’t simple at all. It caught me by surprise–there was no sign of Dad’s personality anymore. He used to collect stuff, even when he wasn’t ill. His desktop was a jumble of sentiments. No longer. No papers in the drawers, no church bulletins, no little pictures, pens, odds and ends. Just clothes and a toothbrush and a razor.

Dad has declined significantly in the last six months–doesn’t recognize anyone, doesn’t talk, doesn’t have any interest in anything. He’s in severe stages. Alzheimer’s Disease is so slow and gradual that you adjust to it. But every now and then, it catches my heart. Dad is still here, but he’s gone.

As I left the facility where Dad has been for the last few years, I drove up from the parking garage and hadn’t realized I had left the radio on. It picked up the signal as I emerged into the daylight…and then came a gift from God, a reminder that He was right there, in the midst. “Emmanuel, God is with us.”

“Rise” by Shawn McDonald is a beautiful song–but it will forever be seared into my memory as just the song I needed as I drove over to Dad’s skilled nursing center. The lyrics were oh-so-perfect:

“Rise”

[Chorus]
Yes I will rise
Out of these ashes rise
From this trouble I have found
And this rubble on the ground
I will rise
Cause He Who is in me
Is greater than I will ever be
And I will rise

Sometimes my heart is on the ground
And hope is nowhere to be found
Love is a figment I once knew
And yet I hold on to what I know is true

[Chorus]
Yes I will rise
Out of these ashes rise
From this trouble I have found
And this rubble on the ground
I will rise
Cause He Who is in me
Is greater than I will ever be
And I will rise

Well I keep on coming to this place
That I don’t know quite how to face
So I lay down my life in hopes to die
That somehow I might rise

[Chorus]
Yes I will rise
Out of these ashes rise
From this trouble I have found
And this rubble on the ground
I will rise
Cause He Who is in me
Is greater than I will ever be
And I will rise

About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.

Comments

  1. mrst72443 says:

    Yes,Suzanne, what we do without the comforting arms of God! We,as Christians are a blessed even in times of sorrow ands sadness! God bless you as you continue loving and visiting your Dad! May Jesus give you all extra hugs this Thanksgiving, as you will have that extra empty chair at your table!
    Blessings,
    Judi Williams. Ponca City, Ok

  2. Scott E. Fowler says:

    Suzanne, I can't tell you how many times music has made me come back to reality and realize that God is always with us. I'm thrilled to know that I'm not the only one. Hugs from Va.

    Scott Fowler

  3. Suzanne says:

    Loved your comments, Judi and Scott. Thank you for taking the time to read the post and share your thoughts. Warmly, Suzanne