I remember the first time I heard Harry Chapin’s song, “Cat’s in the Cradle”. The story of the song essentially chronicles the circle of life of a son wanting more of his dad’s time to a dad wanting more of his son’s time. As a father, I had my own brush with this after I had been preoccupied for several months with a plate that was far too full, when at 8 or 9 years old my daughter Jordan stopped me cold one night saying she “wanted her daddy back”. And I’m sure I’ll have my moment soon where I’ll say “I want my baby girl back”.
Growing up in a clergy family we learned to share our dad. He was counselor, mentor, friend and guide to many. Oftentimes our schedule or plans changed suddenly because someone else needed our dad. But when he was there, he was present, without distraction. I don’t ever remember him not being there when I needed him. He always found a way to make the time.
In a busy life, we are all shared in many circles. The demands of life pull our strings and if we get too caught up in it, its easy to lose balance and just put everything off as “we’ll get together soon”. Dad never lost that balance and provided a wonderful example to our family of how you can share your lives in many ways with others, but still keep family at the center.
The last couple of weeks have been really hard. Watching how uncomfortable and tired dad is, is really hard. I’ve asked the question over and over again quietly to myself, why does he have to live this way? I think we’ve all wondered would we rather go instantly or decline slowly? It’s a tough question and I’m sure there is no right answer. And definitely not something we control.
I’m comforted that God is in control. I do wonder if his plan for dad is mindful that his life has been shared by far too many for it to end too quickly. The past few months so many have written notes, called him or visited – maybe God just knew there were so many people that needed to tell dad what he means to them, that going quickly simply wasn’t an option.
In that vein, mom and dad still welcome your visits and phone calls. Just know that dad tires very easily and is really weak at this point. But your words, prayer and encouragement are a spark for him, so please keep them coming.
Blessings to all of you and thank you for your continued prayers and support!