My dad passed in 2018 at the age of 96. He lived a full life. Many of you got to meet him, since he lived with us for the last four years of his life. I am grateful we had that experience, as it brought a healing between my dad and myself.
As I see it today, it gave Dave and myself the experience of caring for someone with dementia.
There are many great stories I could share about my dad. His courage, his patriotism, his willingness to support his children in all their crazy adventures; Yet the most memorable for me is his dignity and gentle demeanor as he faced living with dementia and having to live with his adult child. That had to be a bit hard for him but you would never know it. His attitude was always one of gratitude.
I can see Dave’s experience with progressive aphasia is progressing along similar ways and I also know myself and his children are here to support him in this journey. I also know that all of you at Unity of Fort Pierce welcome him in many ways. Many of you have shared you really “love” to see him, so thank you for that.
Both of these men were and are amazing fathers. They represent the masculine principle that Charles Fillmore speaks of. The qualities of protection, strength, courage and intelligence. To me the greatest demonstration of these qualities lies in the ability to surrender their independence into the love of their family, friends, neighbors and our community to help in caring for them.
We grow up thinking we need to be independent and we can do everything ourselves. My dad was especially proud that he could fix seemingly everything yet that illusion doesn’t last. the truth of life is that we need each other. We need our community, we need a village and that becomes apparent when we let wisdom surface into our minds.
I appreciate the verse from (Proverbs 1:8) Hear, my child your father’s instruction, and do not reject your mother’s teaching; for they are a fair garland for your head, and pendants for your neck.”
To me it means to: Listen and discipline our thinking nature so that we live in gratitude while also remembering to be compassionate and forgiving to ourselves and others.