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Posts Tagged ‘Lou Gehrig’s Disease’

This is something I wrote many years ago, as my father battled ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).  At the time, we were about six months in to what turned out to be a two year battle.  He called that day to let me know that he’d lost use of his other arm, and was worried that my young children wouldn’t understand why he wouldn’t hug or hold them during our upcoming visit.  I held it together while we were on the phone, but afterward, as I sat in the dark, these words were the cry of my heart.  I realize that it’s not the most artful writing, but it is an honest portrait of what I was feeling.  I share it now in hopes that it might help those who are currently living through this kind of moment.  I encourage you not to let your grief turn into distance.  Run to them, even though it hurts.

 

My father’s hands always seemed big to me

In the first moments of my life, I just fit in them

Throughout my life, they have been a source of strength, guidance and love

Even as I’ve become a man, my father’s hands seem big

 

A year ago, my dad still had the strength to carry me

Today he doesn’t have the strength to grip my hand

My heart struggles to contain this thought

It somehow makes me feel like a little boy again

 

The hands are but an extension of the heart

And my father’s heart is still strong

When we speak of the heart, we’re really speaking of the spirit

The spirit of my father still towers over me

 

It is just like my father not to consider himself

It is just like him to be concerned with everyone else

It is just like him to spend the time he has left getting things ready for when he’s gone

My dad’s body is failing him, but his spirit is not

 

But my own heart falters at the thought of losing him

It is tempting to be angry about what he’s facing, but with whom could I be angry

Certainly not the God who gave me such a wonderful father

This would not be such a hard thing, had God not made him to be the treasure he is

 

So what shall I do with all these overwhelming feelings

What shall I do with the days that God grants me with my father

I will put my hurt in the hands of my Heavenly Father

I will thank Him every day for the gift of my earthly father

 

While my father’s hands have lost the strength to grip me, his heart has not

He is still guiding me, teaching me, protecting me and loving me

He is still a source of strength for my life

He is still a living testimony of God’s love for me

 

In the days that we have left on this earth together, I want to celebrate my father

As his body fails, I want to see him handled with the dignity & tenderness that he deserves

I want my hands to be a source of strength & love to him, as his have always been to me

I want to grip his hand and walk with him for as long as I can

 

Someday, sooner than I’ll be ready, I will have to let his hand go

On that day, he will be in the hands of “Our Father”

It will be both a glorious and a terrible day, but that isn’t today

Today, I thank Our Father for another day with my father

 

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