Sunday, September 8, 2013

What We Do Not Dare Pray

For the past few years, my father has suffered from Alzheimer's.  On Thursday, he had seizures and took a turn for the worse.  My mother watched and waited as he mostly slept.  My husband researched flight schedules and we talked about the impossibleness of it all.

"I want stupid things." I said.  "I pray stupid things."  I said.  "I feel stupid."  I asked for Dad to be healed. And the grace to deal with the prospect of his death. I asked for somehow all of us to go to the funeral when it happened whenever that would be. I asked for 1000 different things during my rosary and subsequent lapses into grief driven prayer that were preemptive grieving for my dad's continuing to die slowly.  I cried.  I ate. I cried. I walked around.  I cried.  I prayed.  I complained we didn't have enough chocolate in the house.  I cried and cried and felt mad that I was crying.  My dad's not dead. He's dying.  My dad's not gone. He's sleeping a lot.  I felt it keenly. He'd been two days without eating, without really waking up to eat.

My grandmother went ten.  We're stupid hardy that way.  The whole day felt like drifting, waiting for news, hoping for no news, not knowing what to pray, praying anyway.

This morning, I still felt as if my gut had been kicked in, but we got up and went to mass.  Afterwards, we stopped for bagels, I got an eclair and ate it all.  We got a text message from my mom.

He woke up. He talked.  He ate a yogurt, 1/2 a banana and drank a whole glass of milk.

I didn't know how heavy the truck was until it was lifted.  None of my prayers were answered, a better one was.

I still know he is dying, but I'm so glad he is alive today.  It was a reminder to me, to pray for what we really want, and to be willing to dig deep enough to know what that is, and to ask. Never cease daring to ask.  Ours is a God of Infinite Love and capacity.

4 comments:

Robin E. said...

Thank you for this. And I'll pray for your Dad. :)

Bertha said...

Like so many other people, I deeply love your dad. Your ache feels unbearable, I know. "...someone will take you by the hand and lead you where you do not want to go." (Jn 21:18) My realization is that it is God who takes us by the hand and leads us to that dark place and then through it. Love and prayers for you and your family.
Beth

Josh Wilson said...

I don't know your Dad, but I love your brother, my friend Dan. I pray for God's grace to strengthen you all as you struggle through this ongoing trial. I know your Dad is a good man to have raised a great son like Dan, and so I honor him for that as well. God bless you and all the best for your new book. I intend to read it at some point - your brother keeps telling us we have to!

Anonymous said...

Sending you much love Sherry. You are all in my daily thoughts. Hugs.

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