Conversations with Dad

Suzanne Uncategorized

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