Some of you may remember my mentioning that my father-in-law is suffering from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). The type that he has is very fast moving and in the eight months since he was diagnosed, he can no longer talk, has difficulty walking, has a stomach tube since he can’t eat, he cannot dress himself or even take care of some of his most basic needs.
It has been such a fast progression and we can see differences from week to week. My father-in-law is a very strong person and is a wonderful example for all of us as he bears this incredible burden gracefully.
As Father’s Day approached this year, we wondered how should we celebrate it with him? Our normal celebrations in the past included lots of delicious food…..not such a good idea when you cannot eat.
The next idea that we had was maybe having us all go to a movie together. A couple of hours escaping the grim reality of day to day living might be something that he would like.
In the end, my father-in-law asked us all to come over and help with some projects around the house that he can no longer do. My mother-in-law is very busy taking care of his needs and her normally spotless house needed some attention as well.
So, we all headed on over. The kids were put in charge of dusting and cleaning the baseboards. My husband and brother-in-law got busy fixing some things around the house and changing the air-conditioning filters. My sister-in-law helped with the cleaning.
Now, what did I do? I was in charge of planting flowers and pruning. My father-in-law always has a beautiful display of seasonal annual flowers. But he can no longer hold things in his hands easily and his strength is rapidly weakening. So, I was more than happy to step in.