Friday, March 4, 2011

~LONGING FOR MY FATHER'S EYES~

~THE MAN MY MOTHER LOVES~

Today my beloved father turns 81 years old.  I find it nothing short of amazing he has lived to reach his 8th decade of life.  I'm not sure why I feel this way, I only know that I do.  A big part of me never thought he'd live to be an older man.  I'm grateful he is still with us and has moments of clarity where he knows and recognizes each of his children.  It is a blessing to all four of us kids that he has always known our mother..........

Living with a parent who has dementia (Alzheimer's) pulls at my heartstrings.  There isn't a day that goes by when I don't long to sit and have deep conversations with my father like I did before he fell prey to what our family refers to as the "monster in his brain".  But, within the deepest part of my soul I understand that is impossible, for today the once prolific writer and speaker (preacher-man) often struggles to find even the simplest of words to say.  Even so...when I visit him in the nursing home, the place he's lived in for nearly a decade, I sometimes find myself chattering away like nothing has changed. 
 ~DADDY'S GIRL...1976~

In reality, nothing could be farther from the truth.  Everything has changed.  I have changed.  The world has changed.  And, while he's been cooped up inside a room he never could have possibly believed he'd have ever called 'home', he has changed. 
~CHRISTMAS 2011~

With the grit and determination my father instilled within me to face all things, I hold his aging hand and tell him what an awesome father he's been and how incredibly thankful I am for all the sacrifices he's made for me, his middle daughter.  A complicated dreamer of a man, my father rarely caught a break in life and yet somehow reached his elderly years free from the bonds of bitterness that could have easily taken a weaker man down.
 ~FEBRUARY 2011~

  As I lean in close for a gentle hug I'm startled for a moment and pull back to get a better look...  Although shadowed with a gentle, cloudy haze, I realize my father's eyes have remained unchanged with the passing of the years.  Still loving, pensive, compassionate and kind, he indeed has "His Father's Eyes".
  ~TODAY...HAPPY MOMENTS~

I pray they will help lead me to the deepest, realest of truths...for I know it is there I will always find peace and refuge.

"Happy Birthday Daddy!  You continue to be my hero and I love you.
xo~Becky Sue"

~~*~~
Blessings to you today as you celebrate life with those you deeply love.

Love to you~

41 comments:

The Cranky Queen said...

Rebecca, I am sobbing as I read your blog today...Your writing is so real, yet has an honesty that makes you stop and really take a look at life...What a sweet tribute to your Daddy...Your precious words & the background music tells me that you are a wonderful person, especially as a daughter. Thanks for sharing! Happy Birthday to your Dad...Tiff
thecrankyqueen.blogspot.com Visit me sometimes....

Mari said...

HI REBECCA~WHAT A VERY SWEET AND TOUCHING POST :) I WISH YOUR DEAR DAD A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY :)

XO~MARI

Sue @ Not the Good Scissors! said...

Rebecca this is such a beautiful post. The first thing I noticed in your father's pictures were his eyes. They look lucid and thoughtful and I see nothing but peace and gentleness. A certain amount of calm came over me just looking at him.

He is so blessed to have such a wonderful and loving family. And you are blessed to have such a wonderful father.
Hugs, Sue

C'est Moi, Julie Marie said...

Dearest Rebecca... I have no words today... only beautiful thoughts of you and your precious daddy... happy birthday to a most wonderful man... love to you... xoxo Julie Marie

Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

How sweet. I know how much you miss talking with your dad.
Btw, today is my son's 29th birthday!!

Atelier de Charo said...

Happy Birthday to your sweet Dad!

Xoxo
Charo

Dolores said...

Rebecca..... you can know that I'm crying as I've read your beautiful and touching tribute to your dad on his birthday.

I love the pictures you've shared with us; they show so much love!

As David's monster in his brain takes over more and more..... I too..long for the conversations we once had.

Big hugs!

Passionate for White said...

Your posted touched me so....

Jen said...

What a touching post. I can relate as I lost my Mom last October to the disease. She had it for 10 years as well. On the majority of my visits with her she would smile and be happy that the "nice lady" came for a visit. The nice lady was me, her 5th child. What a sad disease this is..
Jeannette

Roselle said...

Dear Rebecca:
What a beautiful tribute to your sweet Daddy. I hope he has a wonderful b'day and year ahead. Enjoy you time with him!
Love,
Roselle

Anonymous said...

The sweet bond you still have with your Dad is evident. The treasures you've stored up in heaven will never fade with the passing of time. After all, those are the ones that count! Blessings to your Dad and your family today as you celebrate his 81 years! Love, Lisa B.

Theresa said...

Oh Rebecca, I wish I could be there to give you a big 'ole hug! Life is really painful when we have to watch someone we love go thru so much! I saw my Uncle have the disease that took him away from all of us! BIG HUGS and Birthday wishes to your sweet Daddy!

Mariette said...

Dearest Rebecca,

Yes, you do the right thing, looking beyond the monster living in his brain and cherishing the wonderful moments, the deep love and truth that lies withing him and remains forever with you.
At least, you've had SO many good and lasting memories. May God give you all the strength to guide you to his final destination over time...

Hugs and lots of love,

Mariette

Linda said...

Rebecca, that was so beautiful and so touching. My mother spent many years in a nursing home before her death...and it was so hard to see her that way. I always hated to leave her there. She is at peace now with her Lord and that brings me peace.

Happy Birthday to your dear daddy. He sounds like a good father and a fine man. I am glad you are so close to him.

Bless you and your daddy today sweet Rebecca!

Love, Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

Deanna said...

Dearest Becky Sue!
What a beautiful post about your daddy.
God bless you and embrace you with sweet comfort!
You are a blessed woman to have a daddy that loved you as a child, young woman, mature Lady!

Sweet sweet memories,
d from homehaven

Char said...

It's been a very long time since I last visited, but I wanted to come in and say hi. I am glad I did, what a beautiful tribute to your loving father, Char

Jan's Blog said...

This is a lovely and emotional post that touches me very closely. My own father is 86 years old and failing fast. Having clarity of mind is a double edged sword as he knows his death is coming and he's terrified. He doesn't know the Lord, and therefore sees his death as the black hole in the earth where he rots, and all is lost. Oh how I wish I could convince him that glory follows this life... that the best is yet to come.

I'm sorry... this is about you and my heart hurts for you and your dad that there are moments lost to dementia. I pray he knows of the next life, for in the eternities nothing will be lost to either of you.

Love to you...

Anonymous said...

Beautiful tribute to your sweet daddy, Rebecca........so such love there, just looking at the pictures of him, and you and him..
you can see it shining through...
Happy Birthday to your daddy!!
Love, Francy

Sue @ Not the Good Scissors! said...

Oh Rebecca. Forgot to mention that our friend Mona at Wspersweetly of Cottages is in the hospital. That one surprised me! Her granddaughter posted on her blog yesterday with the details. I am going to try to get her address so I can send her a card.
Hugs, Sue

P.S. Enjoyed your visit today :)

Debbie said...

Rebecca,

Your blog is beautiful as are all the wonderful treasures you create. I found your blog via Char's blog for our Pink Saturday party!

~Debbie

Rita said...

Please tell your handsome daddy that I wish him a very happy birthday. It is wonderful that he has lived into his 80's. That is a dreadful disease and though it is not hard on him, it is very hard on the family. We've been there. I'm so glad that you still have him. My dad turned 90 last month and we never dreamed he would be here after three major heart attacks. You are blessed to have him still! Enjoy every moment you have with him!

NanaDiana said...

A bittersweet day for you, I'm sure, sweet Rebecca. I know how much you love the man that was...and IS..although he is not the same person you grew up with. I lost my Dad when I was 21 and so never saw his memory dimmed or clouded...that was a blessing...and he was 74 when he passed.

I am glad that you had so many happy years with him..years to love and cherish him as the kind and loving father you knew.

Happy Birthday Rebecca's Daddy! xxoo Diana

Lynn said...

Beautiful tribute to your Dad Rebecca! Your Dad looks like a very wonderful gentle man.. Please let him know I said Happy Birthday also..

Love and hug and enjoy the sweet moments and times that you are and can be with him. Those moments you'll treasure in your heart forever. I know I treasure mine of my Dad who passed away 5 years ago at the age of 77.

Blessings,
~Lynn

Sandra said...

Oh Rebecca. I am crying here. As you know, my father in law has Alzheimer's too. I know all too well what you are feeling. We are going thru this too. You know...there are times that I am caressing my father in law's face and I can almost see Jesus in his eyes. Does that make sense? Oh Rebecca, i'm bawling here. I'll keep you in my prayers, Please keep my father in law in your prayers. God Bless.
Sandra

Sandra said...

Happy Birthday to your papa, my friend.
Sandra

Shirley said...

Hi Rebecca, Tell your father Happy Birthday. I know that it is hard for you, but god gives us the strength to see us through. I have spent several hours visiting the nursing home while my hubby was there. The people in the hall waiting for someone to come to see them. You wonder if anyone did. It breaks your heart. I know I wish that the Dreaded Monster was gone amd that there would be a miracle cure for all of the nasties in the world. You visit and spend as much time as possible with them. I have lost both my parents. You take care. Your Missouri Friend.

Stephanie ~ Angelic Accents said...

Happy Birthday to your sweet father, dear Rebecca! Please give him a special hug from me. Today marks the 4th anniversary of the burial of my precious daddy. It has been such a hard day for both me and my sweet mother.

I love seeing the touching pics of you and your special man, the first older man in your life!

Love and Hugs,
Stephanie
Angelic Accents

RosesMarijke said...

Happy Birthday for your father !!

Simply Debbie said...

Happy Birthday to YOUR sweet Daddy, Rebecca,
Give him and your mother a hug. I pray for this special day those monsters disappear and it is a beautiful day. It isn't so nice out side today, BUT YOU CAN HAVE A BEAUTIFUL TIME INSIDE.
Beautiful tribute to the daddy you love so much...and he is so very proud of you...it must be sooo very frustrating on his part to not be able to express what he has to say or even make the right facial expression to show his family he understands. He is being held a prisoner in his own body.
Bless you and all families with who this disease robs them of their dignity.
love you girlie
simply debbie

Happily Ever After Again said...

Yes! Happy Birthday to your daddy! I am going to pick up my 87 year old grandma with dementia today. She doesn't know my name, but she recognize my face. Hopefully today will be a good day. :)
xo

Celestina Marie Designs said...

Hi Rebecca,
Happy 81st Birthday to your Dad. What a loving and special post in honor of him. Your carry his talents within you.
Your post really touches my heart since my own daddy's birthday was Feb.24th and mine the 28th. I truly miss him since we always celebrated together.
It is a blessing for you to see, and find in his eyes the man he truly still is deep within his heart. The mind may change, but the heart of this wonderful man will remain true forever. Cherish each and every moment!

Love to you and your dear Father.
Celestina Marie

Jan M said...

Such sweet, sweet photographs and words!
Enjoy those hugs and hand holding moments. What I wouldn't give for one more hug from my father. Thank goodness for memories, whether our fathers are gone from this earth or just parts of their physical being are absent. Thank you for sharing your father with us.

Kit said...

What a lovely blog! Nice to meet your Daddy. Yes, it is true, the eyes never change. Kit

Lisa & Gerald said...

Happy Birthday to your dear father...Sending best wishes to him.....

Bunny Rose Cottage said...

Ohhh Rebecca, what a sweet, heartwarming post!!! Your daddy is sooo cute, I just want to hug him! I love the picture of you and him with the cuppycakes!! What a special picture. I am such a daddy's girl and now I want to hug him, lol! There is just something so special between a daddy and his daughter. I am so glad you have that special relationship with your dad too because I know so many women that dont and I cannot imagine not being close to my dad!! I hope you all had a wonderful day together!

I am sooo sad that I missed your bunnies :( I almost cried!! Could you do a little one for me?? I love your work so much, I want a big shelf full of your bunnies, lol!
Love and hugs,
Amy

Amisha said...

Best wishes to your dad and you.

Charlene said...

How really lucky you are!!!! I would give anything for another chance to hug my sweet Daddy & look into his eyes. I can't wait until I can hug him again...
Enjoy your time with your sweet Daddy. HUGS!
Charlene

Marilou of Lulu's Lovlies and Heartful Creations said...

Beautiful and touching Rebecca, this is so difficult my Mom had the same monster and it came on later in life and took over quickly, we lost her at age 80 yrs, but daddy made it to a ripe old age of 99, however he was never the same after he lost his beloved. Life is hard, it is up to us to chose how we live and accept the things that come our way. May God Bless you today and always and it is wonderful you have him! Hugs My friend, Marilou

Barbara Jean said...

Rebecca,
What a wonderfully uplifting, and endearing post.
If I were not protecting my own heart right now, I would be in tears.

Thank you, for the lovely and gracious and caring person you are. Truly a reflection of those you love so dearly

blessings and admiration.

barbara jean

karen said...

Great post. Wonderful pictures. Crying right now. Ok, time for me to give my mom a hug. Love Ya girl.

GennieG said...

Hi Rebecca! I really love your blog and all you share. This post really touched my heart. I understand the devastation of Alzheimer's. My grandmother suffered with it for 12 years and I saw how it affected my grandfather, my mom and the rest of the family. But not only that has choked me up. I think this is such a beautiful tribute to your daddy. I lost mine 8 years ago. My dad meant the world to me and I understand that love a girl has for her dad. We are so fortunate to have had such wonderful men as our earthly fathers. I have been contemplating writing about my dad but I haven't yet. Maybe someday. I really enjoyed this post. You are a beautiful soul and woman. Blessings!

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