My Dad is in a local memory care facility with advanced Alzheimer's Disease. Saturday some of the family met up there with food and presents. It wasn't a good day for him and he spoke very little if at all. We all ate and gave him his gifts. I left admittedly a wee bit disappointed. It was supposed to be his Christmas celebration and he didn't seem very "present" in it.
Christmas Day I drove out to Saginaw around noon for Christmas dinner with my family. About an hour after I got there the snow began to fall. I didn't want to get snowed in so I drove home around 1 o'clock in the afternoon. Helen, my Dad's wife of nearly 50 years was trying to call him at the facility to let him know she was getting snowed in and wouldn't be there until the next day. I left my sister's anxious and crushed that I was going home to an apartment empty of all but canine companionship. I felt sorry for myself and engaged in self pity. A pity party isn't very festive. As I drove home the snow started to let up and the streets had yet to ice. So I pulled into the parking lot of the memory care facility and went to visit my Dad.
I found him sitting in the day room with his back to the TV staring into space. My heart sank wondering if this visit would be a repeat of Saturday's. I silently prayed for God to help me do the right thing and be obedient by serving my Dad. He had just hung up the phone from talking with Helen. I wheeled him down to his room. He looked at me and clearly said "stick around." I pulled a chair up to his and patted his hands. We had one of the clearest conversations I've had with him since he moved in. We talked for a bit. He realized it was Christmas. I opened the window shade and let him see the snow. He got quiet for a minute. Then he asked me to call my brother Wes. So we did. Then we called my sister, Nancy. Then, my brother Kim. Then he wanted to talk to Brent. Then it was Kae who was visiting her son in Georgia. Finally, we called Helen and Kristy and talked to them a second time. I ended up staying for nearly two and a half hours.
Around four thirty the attendant came to take him to dinner. Even though I live close to his facility a single mile can be treacherous if it is an icy one. I left far more joyous than when I came in. The Lord had different yet far better plans for me this Christmas. He blessed me with some time of clarity with my eighty seven year old Dad. I'll always be grateful for the grace of a loving Savior on this day--His day really. For without His Incarnation there would be no Christmas and no hope.