Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Drip (04/25/13)
TITLE: The Long Way Home
By Pamela Reed
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Many years have passed since we took Wes into our home. At the age of 94, he had realized that without his senses working correctly, he needed his son’s care. His macular degeneration had taken his sight and oral surgery had left him without the sense of smell. Preparing rancid food and getting ill was becoming a problem.
Wes was a staunch atheist, and had no problem letting us know that. “We are different because YOU spend your time at church.” He was totally convinced that we were wrong and he had always been right about this. “God does NOT exist or there wouldn’t be earthquakes and tornadoes.” That is why I, the daughter-in-law, fought the idea of Wes moving in with us. My response was “Why don’t you just open the front door and yell “Come on in Satan, come live with us?”” In the end, I realized that my job was to support my husband in his decisions, as that was what God would want. He moved in.
As time passed, the care needed to be increased. At 98, we realized that dementia was a problem. There were times when he could not find his way to the bathroom or from his bed to his favorite living room chair even though there was only one wall dividing the two rooms.
One morning started out different from the rest as we found Wes perched on the edge of his bed. Asking why, he proceeded to inform us that water went “drip, drip, drip” all night long and he couldn’t sleep. The bed was totally wet and he couldn’t rest in a wet bed. Our roof does not leak, but we took off the blankets and sheets to prove that it was a dry bed. “Well, it WAS wet, it must have dried” was his response.
Each day was different as he would have good times where he was “with us” and not so good times when he was confused. He realized that he was losing reality and sat in his favorite chair crying one day and asking us why he was still alive. Because he was lucid, I took the opportunity to share God’s love with him. I told him, maybe God is being merciful and giving you time to accept Him so that you may go to Heaven instead of being in Hell for eternity. He loves each and every one of us. He loves you. He instantly went on the attack so I quietly left the living room. Passing my husband in the dining room, I said “I tried.” He quietly answered “I know you did, I heard” as he gave me a disappointed look, but one full of love for my attempt.
Ten minutes later, as my husband talked to Wes, he once again was in his “Woe is me mode.” Once again, I entered the living room, sat down on the couch beside him and talked to him about Jesus. This time was different. We discussed, back and forth, and then he said to me. “I want to accept Jesus, but I don’t know how.” I said “If I say the prayer to accept Him, would you repeat it after me?” and he agreed. At 99 1/2 years, Wes accepted Christ as his personal savior and will dwell in Heaven forever.
It also made a difference to me. After six long years of care giving – care giving that I was NOT interested in doing – it now made sense. God had placed him in our home to soften our hearts. It’s not fun taking care of a man who feels entitled. He never said “Thank You” and complained constantly about any and all things he could come up with. It was, and is, a rough road. But, he will spend eternity in Heaven because we were obedient to His plan for our lives.
We have just celebrated his 100th birthday and he now occasionally thanks us for his care. Wes even told his 59 year old son that he loved him for the first time that my husband can remember.
When we trust in Him, it all comes together in His timing, even when it takes a hundred years!
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