For the last few days, since getting home from Ireland, my husband has been taking care of his father. I have been helping in my spare time.
(A photo taken years ago of my father-in-law and my husband)
Just 6 months ago his father was in great shape for his age. He was doing things like building cupolas, making his own meals, riding around on his mini bike (kind of like a miniature scooter) and basically everything else that a person living by themselves needs to do.
Today he needs help with almost everything. The hubby & I are praying that he will be able to live by himself again but for now my husband has moved in with his father. Again. Our home is just 1 mile from his dad's and so we still see each other every day. In fact, I am up at his dad's right now while the hubby is at a church worship rehearsal.
My father-in-law needs help bathing, dressing, getting out of bed, etc. Simple things that you & I take for granted. I do not think about getting dressed in the morning. I just do it. I may think about what outfit I will wear but I don't think about raising my leg to get it into my jeans.
Six months ago you could have a conversation with my father-in-law. We would take about things like the war or what was happening in the world (mostly gas prices!). Today his mind is not working well and he is confused.
In the Bible, it speaks of old age as a positive thing. I am not going to come right out and say the Bible is wrong but I think old age stinks. After working the elderly for the last five years, I do not see too many blessings in old age. Most senior citizens eventually have a problem with their body or their mind and sometimes both.
I love seniors and I was truly blessed to work with them. Something small like fixing their television when it was on the wrong channel made them look at me with awe and thankfulness. I find them adorable in their vintage clothing and knitted socks. The Bible mentions that the old have wisdom. I am sure this is true. More experiences would naturally mean more wisdom. But what if the mind goes? I wanted to learn more about what the Bible had to say about old age and came across this article: LINK.
For those that don't want to click on the link, I will quote the author:
"Ecclesiastes chapter 12 tells us what we all don't want to hear. When we get older our hands will shake and tremble, our legs and back will stoop, our teeth will fall out, our ears and eyes won't work as well....(However) some of the best prayers come from the elderly. They might not be healthy enough to go on mission trips or that kind of thing anymore but if there is one thing they can do it is pray for people in the church. This can especially be good for the younger people in the church because often they don't pray enough and need somebody else to pray for them."
This helped me a bit. My father-in-law still reads his Bible. Yes, he needs two lights on and his glasses but he is diligent about it. I am sorry to say that he is more diligent than I am.
I am not going to worry about getting old but will trust God with every aspect of my life. If I am 90 years old, without teeth and out of my mind, so be it. Ha!
I'll leave you with two "old age" jokes that makes me chuckle:
I am not forgetful
The second lady chimed in with, "Yes, sometimes I find myself on the landing of the stairs and can't remember whether I was on my way up or on my way down."
The third one responded, "Well, ladies, I'm glad I don't have that problem. Knock on wood," as she rapped her knuckles on the table, and then said, "That must be the door, I'll get it!"
What was its name?
"Outstanding," Fred replied. "They taught us all the latest psychological techniques-visualization, association-it made a huge difference for me."
"That's great! What was the name of the clinic?"
Fred went blank. He thought and thought, but couldn't remember.
Then a smile broke across his face and he asked, "What do you call that flower with the long stem and thorns?"
"You mean a rose?"
"Yes, that's it!" He turned to his wife. . ."Rose, what was the name of that clinic?"