Yesterday I helped my dad get ready for the day. Millions of people around the world do this for their elderly parents every day. This week Ione and I will join their ranks. I didn't realize that he had an electric shaver, so I shaved him the old fashioned way with shaving cream and a razor. It was like shaving a giant raisin. His skin has so many folds in it, his neck looks like the gullet of a turkey, and I almost despaired of achieving a clean shave without nicking his thin skin.
As I helped him dress I saw how many scars and dents his body had. One side of his chest was injured in the past and it shows. There is a large scar across his midsection from an emergency operation. He looks like an old model T. No one would expect it to run, but it does!
This body took him through the Great Depression and World War 2. It took him through 70 years of marriage and raising 6 kids. It has weathered the world for 93 years, AND it is still running. His mind remembers only events from 50 years ago, and sometimes those details get mixed up. He struggles to remember his children and sometimes his spouse. Yesterday we took mom to the hospital because she was suffering chest pains. Dad couldn't articulate his thoughts but he was so worried. They released mom and she didn't have to stay overnight, but the whole incident disoriented dad. "My wife is in the hospital" he repeated even though she was sitting across from him at the table. The mind is a strange thing. Dad is amazing, worn, beaten up, his wheels are about to fall off, but he loves and worries about his wife. He runs, just barely - his mind is mostly gone - but his heart is still fully there.