My family and I went to church this morning and I heard something that’s been sticking with me in the sermon. One of my best friends, who I have been friends with since I actually have memories of having friends, and who I could not even begin to imagine what my life would be like without her, was in a serious car accident. She has made great improvements and has finally been moved from the ICU. Our pastor said he was touched by the outpouring of love for her, and that we should treat every person as if they were her sibling, because every person deserves that much love.
This comes in the wake of many tragedies, not only for our small community, where a boy from my high school was killed in a hit-and-run, another died from drug overdose, my dear friend passed from cancer, and two car accidents injured members of our very small town, but also tragedies for the world like the Orlando shootings and the fact that this fanatic hate still pervades part of humanity.
Every person deserves love. The kind that is flowing and concerned, anxious and well-meaning. The kind that is protective and caring, patient and fierce.
What does that have to do with my father?
When emergencies happen we go into survival mode. When accidents happen we rush to find solutions and help however we can. But I’ve noticed, and maybe you have too, that when something extends we tend to let it slide. Big issues, even, if they persist long enough we throw up our hands and say what can be done?
My mom has an issue that extends. She declines in functionality everyday from Alzheimer’s. And although we are given an outpouring of love, it is not with the sense of urgency like after an accident. People understand the disease takes time. They do not spend their days worrying if Mom will make good strides today like I worry myself about my friend. Every once in awhile they ask how we are doing and it fills our hearts and makes us feel cared for. It’s a beautiful thing: love.
But what people don’t always realize, and there’s really no reason for them to know this, is the amount of sacrifice my dad puts into taking care of my mom. How he makes every decision with her well-being in mind first. How his work has become being a caregiver. How he has to bathe, feed, dress, clean, and take care of my mom for everything. He plans his actions and words to make her feel most valued. And if you ask him about it, he acts like it’s NO BIG DEAL. He will not complain about how hard it is, he will not ever act like it is a burden. He is a hero. And he would never call himself one.
My dad has his own blog, Humanity Hiker, which has morphed over the years. It started more as a place to document his travels with my mom as they hiked The American Discovery Trail, but now it is essentially a brain health and caregiver blog. He started a campaign to try and raise money to help my family turn our tub into a walk-in shower because my mom can’t walk over the lip of the tub and he has to pick her up and put her in. It is an okay solution, but not for the long term as my mom continues to decline. We need to act fast, and we need the immediate outpouring of love that comes with emergencies and accidents. My dad won’t make a crowd-funding page. Instead, he produced a track with his band, The Bards of Balance, and wants people to just pay 99 cents for it. In return, you will get calming music to meditate to, and we will get some money to help get a shower for my mom. He also has a donate button on the sidebar of his website which can be used with PayPal or credit card. Nobody in my family likes asking for money, we’re not really good at asking for the simplest bit of help. But I am asking now.
I am going to attach the links to all the posts my dad has made for this campaign. I hope that you will take a look and consider helping my dad make a difference for my mom.
Happy Father’s Day, to a man who is selfless and driven in his pursuit to care for my mother, and who teaches me daily the values of family and love. I have learned independence, responsibility, and reasoning from my father. Three of my most precious traits. I love you, Dad!!