This single mother of five thing is waring me out! He'll be home Sunday and we cannot wait to have him home. Wanted to share an update from Trevor with you all:
Imagine feeding someone, being unable to understand or respond to their gibberish, changing their clothes, helping them to walk and changing them when they have an accident. It’s cute if it is a newborn baby or young child, but what if it’s your Dad? Well, in my case it is my Dad. You may know him as Bredda Herman, Pastor Harris, Rev Harris or my dad.
I am spending a couple weeks with Daddy and he is unable to do some of the simple things we take for granted. You see, Daddy has Alzheimer’s disease and has been diagnosed with the disease for a few years. As I am taking care of him this week, it is mind boggling to see him in this state. I think back as a young boy how he was the strongest, fearless, kindest, independent man I knew. To explain, he was a hard worker that grew up farming and doing carpentry. He spent his entire life in ministry and would start churches in crime ridden areas of Kingston. Because of his work in the ministry, he was always serving others in some capacity. Finally, he took seriously his responsibility to take care of his family.
When I was in Jamaica in April of this year, he did not show any signs he recognized me as his son. This time around, when Hazel, my Dad’s caregiver, asked him who I was, he said my name. It felt good. You see, I have not been able to have a meaningful conversation with my father for a while. Our conversations jump around various time periods in his life. I go along for the ride and most times I can make him laugh about some experience.
Anyway, this time with Daddy has been special for me. For one, I appreciate him more now than I ever did. His spiritual leadership of his home has shaped me in the man I am today. For instance, his words and lifestyle mirrored his love for the things of God. Second, his compassion and service to others was evident. Lastly, he treasured and loved my mom like no other.
So, I am enjoying hanging out with Daddy. Whether it is feeding him, bathing him, shaving him or helping him to walk, I am treasuring our time together. In a strange way, I think he is enjoying it too. You know, that prolonged squeeze he gives my hand, or that smile I get when I give him kudos for walking from the bedroom to the dining room, even though he would rather me push him in the wheelchair. At nights, it’s the best because I get to read the Bible to him and pray with him.
I am humbled that I get to serve Daddy in this fashion after all he has done and sacrificed for me and others. Just know, Daddy is having fun hanging with his son and bredren…and I am loving it too.