I knew when I was in Nebraska in early March that my dad had reached a plateau, at least according to the therapists and that Medicare would stop paying for his stay at the Care Center. So I wasn’t surprised when Mom called to tell me that Dad would be coming home – probably at the end of the month or early April. Mom wanted Dad to finish out his 100 days at the care center because then if he went back in, their extended care insurance would pay for part of it.

However it was really hard to figure out what was going on as I would hear such different stories from both Mom and Dad. For example;

“Mom do you need Gary and I and the kids to come down and help you move furniture in the addition so that Dad’s wheel chair can move easily?”

“No, I already moved everything that needs moving.”

But from my dad who spent most of a day at the house, “She hasn’t done anything to get the addition ready for me to come home. There is furniture everywhere.”

Mom has generally sounded pretty upbeat about Dad coming home. She hasn’t made one derogatory comment when she has talked with me. However from my dad I hear fairly consistently that she doesn’t want him to come home. He follows that up with, “I would rather die than stay here and rot.” I can’t blame him for that sentiment.

However with different stories from Mom and Dad – it takes a good deal of questioning to peel back the layers and get to the truth. Sometimes it means that I need to make calls to others. So last night I call my brother to find out if he knows a date and how things are progressing with getting things in place for dad. The bomb was dropped. “Mom doesn’t want dad at home and she is dragging her feet. Medicare will pay for the hospital bed rental, but she needs to call and tell them that the bed is needed by Monday.”

“Monday, I thought dad was coming home on Thursday or Friday!”

“No, I am planning on Monday and so is Dad. Mom doesn’t want dad until Thursday or Friday. However Jim’s (the home health store where we have been getting a lot of the supplies needed) is out of the toilet riser and rails. They were supposed to be in today and I told Mom to drive in and get them – I don’t think she did.

“Further more, Dad was begging to start the Parkinson’s meds again, but he isn’t taking them all the time – he has been spitting them out about half the time and the nurses don’t think it is helping him. He is asking for meds all the time from Mom and he won’t take what he is supposed to be taking. Mom is going to have to keep a real close eye on him when it comes to his medications.”

I see trouble written all over this home stay. Mom is not behind it and has not been helpful in getting things going for it to go well. Dad needs a stable healthy environment for it to go well. I am expected to drop everything, come to Nebraska and keep both of them in line.

So I am in limbo trying to figure out what I need to reschedule, prepare my family for me to be gone for up to 2 weeks and be ready for battle on many fronts. It will not be an easy trip – but then these trips never have been. I come from a very dysfunctional family and 60 years of habit for my parents will not change in 2 weeks – except by the grace of God. It is never easy to stay above the fray of the dysfunction. While I love my family, they don’t seem to realize what it takes to get things ready up here so that I can stay down there for whatever time is needed. However I will need to limit my time on this next trip – our family has been invited for Easter dinner at a friends. I want to be here for that.

So for now, I am looking at the schedule to see what I need to reschedule, what Gary and the kids can conceivably handle while I am gone. One good thing is that the transportation department from the school district has been able to work out the bus for Giovanna to get to and from school! This will help tremendously.

Please pray:

*That I would have wisdom as I look at the schedule to see what things can/should be rescheduled

*That I can get some meals made up and in the freezer. Keeping this family fed when I am here is challenging enough. To keep enough food in the house for 3 teenagers when I am planning on being gone can seem overwhelming!

*That I would be able to remain above the dysfunction and reflect the love of Christ in this situation which will be tension filled. Pray that I will be able to be consistently in the word and take time to run. These are my weapons to keeping me spiritually healthy while I am there.

*Most of all, pray that I can be the hands and feet of Christ and serve as unto Him – not expecting anything back and not giving grudingly -but cheerfully.

*That God would get the glory and that the gospel would be clear, that walls around hearts would come down and hearts changed.

Anything else that God leads you to pray. I will do my best to update the blog – however I will need to get to the library to do it. Since I don’t know what the days will look like – it might not be updated as often as I would like.