I Get Knocked Down
The year 2020 continues to blow.
Seven weeks was the length of time I stepped away from regular pandemic life in order to enter chaotic pandemic life. Yet in times like these, I find comfort in the immortal words of Chumbawamba: “I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never gonna keep me down.”
There’s also that part in the song that talks about the whiskey drink, the Vodka drink, the lager drink, and the cider drink that sounded intriguing at the time. But that’s another post for another day.
I received a call in mid-June that Mama had broken her wrist when she tried to catch Daddy from falling. This resulted in a trip to the emergency room, followed by surgery. Erring on the side of caution, we decided to separate Daddy and Mama for corona reasons, especially since they are in the high-risk category. That’s when everything began to unravel.
Dementia is a horrible disease that robs a person from their speech, their mobility, and basic functions that we all take for granted. My dad was diagnosed in early 2018 and we’ve watched him slowly slip away from us with each passing year. But until this latest fall, I didn’t realize how much pressure my mom was under as Daddy’s primary caregiver.
For anyone who is loving someone through any type of memory care issue, I salute you. Expect extra jewels in your crown, my friend.
The decision to place him in a memory care facility was gut-wrenching. Everything about it seemed wrong and the timing of it all seemed cruel. But when you’re faced with extenuating circumstances, you have to make important life decisions that will inevitably end up in the “THIS SUCKS” category of life.
I surrendered this awful time over to the Lord. I know my earthly father belongs to my heavenly Father and trust that God will do immeasurably more than what I can ask or imagine. I’m still waiting for the day when my emotions catch up to that truth.
I asked the Lord for a lot of help. Patience was a big priority in the beginning. Healing for mom’s wrist was another request. Wisdom to choose a reputable memory care facility. Prayers for anything resembling sleep. Strength to keep putting one foot in front of the other, one day at a time.
But praying for the Lord to grant me a peace that transcended all understanding was a minute-by-minute request. It rolled through my head on a loop. Over and over and over again.
I wanted Daddy’s mind to be peaceful. I wanted Mama to find peace with this decision. I wanted peace regarding Covid. I wanted peace to calm my anxious heart.
And the Lord provided.
Daddy understood that he was going to a place to help him stay safe and feel better. We loaded him into the car, pulled into the driveway of the facility, and braced ourselves for whatever came next. He took his walker and marched right into that building, without looking back, as my sister shouted, “YOU GOT THIS DADDY!”
It was surreal.
My hope is that Daddy does not feel abandoned or alone. It’s a tough emotion to struggle through. What’s weird is the void he left behind. I expect to see him. I anticipate his needs and then realize he’s not there. It feels wrong, to be honest. The house without Daddy is strange. If you focus on it too long, you go down dark paths involving the unknown.
So in times like these, I focus on what I do know. God is sovereign. He is good. He will rejoice over Daddy with singing.
I wanted to thank each one of you for your prayers, your texts, your phone calls, and your sweet notes during the last forty-nine days. I felt extremely loved. I didn’t feel alone.
It’s good to know that when I got knocked down, y’all will help me get up again. And I will forever be grateful. My cup runneth over.