I walk down the hall toward Daddy’s room preparing my heart for whatever situation and emotion I will find. Standing at his door, I knock. There’s no answer, but these days there never is. I turn the knob asking God to give me strength for this moment. Opening the door, I see him in his new zero-gravity recliner. All the long length of him is stretched completely out—eyes closed and breathing evenly. A too-short blanket tucks under his prominent chin and exposes two large feet extending just beyond the foot rest. Neck pillow encircling his neck and a foot pillow protecting the skin beneath his ankles, Daddy is comfortable and peaceful.
I place a folding chair beside his recliner, and sit down. I hate to wake him and discover just where he is in mind, but I reach under the blanket to touch his hand. It is cold, and he doesn’t respond to my touch. So I sit there and hold his hand, and wait. Several minutes pass, and then he moves his head a little, finally aware that someone is beside him.
“You came,” he says.
He can speak words today! Then he smiles that little grin, and I know that He is with me.
“Is my new furniture here yet?” he asks.
“It certainly is,” I tell him. “You are in your new recliner right now.”
He has had it for weeks, but time doesn’t exist for him.
“Yes, you are. Does it feel good?”
“Oh, yes,” he says. “Is Peach here?”
Peach is my brother. Daddy hasn’t mentioned his name in a very long time.
“No, but he’s coming to visit in two weeks” I say.
He smiles, and closes his eyes. I hope he remembers. I tell him about the Thanksgiving party at Autumn Cove tomorrow. Jeanie and I are going to roll him in his wheelchair down the hall.
“Don’t forget me,” he says. “And don’t leave me.”
“Peach will get me?”
Peach’s visit and the Thanksgiving party have become one event in his mind, and I can see worry setting in.
“We’ll always get you, Daddy.”
He looks up at the ceiling.
“See those bubbles?”
“What about them?”
“I’m smashing them.”
“You’re doing a great job.”
There is that little grin again. Closing his eyes, he is asleep once more. I continue to hold his hand. Where once it was cold, now his fingers have warmed around mine. Today has been a gift not seen very often. I thank God for His blessing.
Take joy in the little things. Sometimes you don’t know how important they are until they are gone.
© 2017 Lynn Lacher