When the Caregiving is Over – my dad

Today my daddy went to sleep in Jesus.

My dad as a young man

My dad as a young man

An example of steady and firm faith in the saving grace of Jesus Christ, he has always been a person of wise advice, sure guidance and steadfast love. Dad grew up on the streets of Boston but thanks to the kindness of a church and the love of Jesus, the course of his life changed. Dad became a civil engineer who contributed to our community by any means he could, often in the area of civil engineering, but in other areas as well.  He was a volunteer fire chief, a Walla Walla Port Commisioner, and worked on Washington State Good Roads Association.  He worked with Navy Admirals, state representatives and governors and senators, pastors and professors and ANY ONE that needed help with ANYTHING.

Frederick R Bennett, my dad

Frederick R Bennett, my dad

These last few years have seen many changes because of Alzheimer’s Disease.

See story 1.

See Story 2.

See Story 3.

On Friday, dad, in the middle of Alzheimer’s produced anxiety, said straight out and clearly, “My body is not for this earth.  It needs to be put in a wagon and carted away.”

My brother asked, “What wagon, dad?”

“Why a little red wagon, of course!”  His body wasn’t needed any longer, and he knew it.  It was time to rest.

My dad has always held to the faith that Jesus is coming soon and we have the privilege, through Christ, to live with Him for eternity.  He referred to that often, in the last few days.

At 2:01 a.m. dad quietly stopped breathing.  Mom, dad’s life partner, cheerleader, supporter, assistant and primary caregiver suddenly has nothing to do.  The house is still and quiet.

How do we find a blessing when our caregiving comes to an abrupt stop? Tweet this!

The blessing is in the life he led.  In the faith he lived. In the songs he sang. In the advice he gave.  In the hand he lent to countless who needed it.  The blessing comes stealing into our souls when four of us kids sit with mom in the living room (some in person, some on skype) and talk for several hours about how to honor my dad, remembering funny things and all the gifts he gave us.  The blessing comes because we each want the best for each other in every moment.   The blessing comes because we have been taught love.  Our parents love us, we love each other and we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God loves us.

My dad’s pain is done.  He sleeps in the arms of Jesus, waiting for His soon return and the eternity of love that awaits us.

We are blessed.


Read more in the series 31 Days of Unexpected Blessings from Caregiving