Monday, May 22, 2006

Kentucky


May began in April as toward the end of the month I had to make quick plans to travel to Kentucky to see my Dad. He has a dementing illness that as yet has not been diagnosed and it became necessary for him to move out of his apartment and into my sister’s home where she can care for him better. These decisions are tough as you struggle to trade your Father’s dignity for his safety.

It was a good visit. I was able to help get his room ready and do basic care for him to free my sister up to do all the business stuff of moving someone. It’s a lot of work but her load will be cut in half by having him in the house.

Dad knows that things are not the same. When I hurt my knee, it changed my options...I had to compensate for the pain by walking differently, being more careful and making different choices. It did not change who I am. My Dad’s brain is hurt but he is still the same man. He has to make different choices, not all the same options are available to him but he is still loving, giving, funny and one of the best music teachers Kentucky ever saw.

My sister drove me two hours to Louisville to catch my evening flight home so we went early to do a whirlwind memory tour starting with lunch with my Aunt ‘Nita and cousins Dee dee and Timmy. They are awesome and have been their crazy life has been the cause of much laughter in my family through the years. Recent revelations have been that my Aunt fell some weeks ago...she tripped over her dog in her apartment...who was dead...the dog I mean. The list geos on...we had a good visit and laughed a lot.

We all went over to my childhood home that is for sale for a tour. We sold it last year to an investor that fixed our old southern home up and is selling it for big profit. It is so beautiful and really different. My Mom (who died 6 years ago) would have loved the new kitchen. During the estate sale last year, a woman found a collectable angel figurine behind the chimney. She brought it to my sister who recognized it as one of my Mom’s favorites. In the fury of the sale we lost it again. Just as we were coming out of the kitchen and into the living room, my sister spotted that little angel on Dad’s old book shelf. The realtor let my sister have it.

We visited Mom’s grave and chased more memories by visiting my old high school, our grandparents home and our childhood church out in the country before taking me to the airport.

Have you ever been overwhelmed trying to process the changes in your life? This really hit me last week and I don’t think I can make sense of it all. It seems like I’ve lived too much already but I know there’s so much more to come. My life in Kentucky feels a world away from Texas, Canada and California...and different worlds, friends and epic and mundane experiences in-between. Who know what’s ahead? Not me but I’m hanging on to see how this story ends. But deep down I know that it doesn’t end. We go on. “Further up and further in” as C.S. Lewis says and that gives me a little more peace to just do what I can now...whatever’s ahead. The next right thing. The next good thing. To be faithful today.

“...seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

1 comment:

T-Nel said...

When did you become a really good writer?

Texas, Canada, and California definitely are worlds away from Kentucky. But I, too, know well the overwhelmingly bittersweet warmth of coming home.

That was a great read, Chris. Worth the wait.