This hit hard…she said, “Share what is vulnerable, but not what is intimate.” That statement helped me understand why I haven’t shared much publicly about my dad’s stroke recovery.
It’s too intimate. Too soul-wrenching. Too much of a roller coaster of glorious highs and plummeting lows.
I intended to share more about Dad’s journey because, I want it to inspire someone else. Much like his first stroke did. But to be honest, even almost two years later, we’re in the thick of it. Dad’s condition and abilities are always changing. It seems like there’s always something new to come to terms with and grieve, even though there’s LOADS to be thankful for. It’s very hard to process.
My heart remains heavy. Even staring at this photo for too long makes my heart sink and I well up with tears. It’s hard to relive some experiences, yet I don’t want to forget them. It’s confusing.
But, one of my favorite songs says it well,
“Hallelujah, when the storm is relentless
Hallelujah, when the battle is endless
In the middle of the in between
In the middle of the questioning
Over every worry, every fear
Hallelujah, even here”
Here’s what I can muster up today about this image taken during our last visit (September 2020). Dad was motivated to make sure he looked spiffy for our family portrait. I think we all wonder if things like this might become “the last time.” It’s beautiful to be reminded how precious time is, but also very somber.
Helping him get ready was such an honor. He would slowly make his way in and out of his room with his cane to show me his different outfit ideas. He dressed himself and put fiber in his hair. He came back out with a comb and asked if it looked “good enough.” I helped shave his face and made sure his skin looked “moisturized” per his request, haha. It was the first time since his stroke that he looked more like himself.
Getting ready took all of him. He rested before our pictures. I took in the moment and watched him lay there looking so handsome. His efforts were a reminder of his love for his family. It’s a memory I don’t want to forget.
I have loads of photos from this trip, but I’m not able to bring myself to edit the rest.
Thank you for those who have continued to pray, encourage us, and check-in on Dad and our family. It means the world. Please continue praying.