The Never Ending Treadmill of Life

Life continues rolling on and on and on, despite our greatest efforts to slow it down. As valiant runners we press on and sometimes actually feel like we have gained some ground. Today, for example, I accomplished so much for my Dad (who is now bed ridden) and his furry companion who is by His side much more vigilantly lately. My heart tells me he is not long for this world. His body may remain longer but it is harder and harder to pull his mind back to me. His exceptionally strong boxing Marine will fights to remember but it is losing ground. Dementia is a cruel master. It doesn’t appreciate that I want to have one more conversation with my Daddy before he goes on ahead to Heaven. It teases me with moments of remembrance and then steals them away again. It robs him of voice and energy. And through this grieving process, I am forced to be the complaint department to my mother who daily complains about taking care of this great man who I love that always took care of everyone. There is grieving for my father who I am losing and grieving at the callousness of a mother. It is more than I can bear sometimes, especially when combined with caring for my family and normal life and responsibilities. I find myself forgetting to do important things I regularly and faithfully do like coach PE class, which I completely forgot about yesterday. I find I really desperately need arms around me that are not. I find a demand of teaching my kids unchanged for I am shielding them from my grief so they do not grow up too quickly. I find that whatever I do is not enough, not the best I can do, sometimes not recognizable as my work. And my eyesight is now needing attention, as well as a chipped molar. So, all amazing very real examples of one person’s struggle to keep up on the treadmill of life. Seems bleak. Yes, it often does. But. However. Except. In this same life are beautiful opportunities and shows of love from a loving God and His people. I find opportunities to play music and sing, therapy to my soul. I find a kind and encouraging word from a friend. I find very rare but still precious hug from a loved friend. I find smiles and laughter from my Dad who seems delirious to the selfishness around him. I find miraculous moments where he says my name clear and loud. I find opportunities to talk to a close friend about my day, a treasure, to still feel human and loved. I find my children discovering some new talent or gift they did not know about. So. So on this treadmill that has hate and evil and grief is also right alongside hope, blessed hope and faith and love and encouragement. You can easily miss one when focusing on the other. I would rather miss the bad by focusing on the good. It is a good choice, I think. Everyone has to make their own choice. But as for me, I will choose to focus on the good. It is more humane and fun and hopeful. It is a good choice I think. And my best friends will help remind me of this choice when I lose that focus again, for it is bound to happen. But not today.

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