Friday, February 13, 2009

CHERRY CHOCOLATE VALENTINES

~HAPPY TIMES 2006~

When I was a little child my father always bought me chocolates for Valentine’s Day. Not the expensive stuff…on a part-time preacher’s salary (which was truly close to NOTHIN’) he couldn’t afford much. Still, every year he managed to give me and my three siblings something special.  I looked forward to my father's tiny-sized offerings of love... generally a four piece box of Whitman's Chocolates accompanied with a Valentine of my very own.

As I got older I easily grew accustomed to his meager gifts and as the years passed I even took them for granted. A lot for granted.

 And, then one day, they just stopped coming.
I’m not sure exactly when it was…probably 2002…maybe 2003…maybe it was 2001...

It’s hard to remember something you try on purpose to forget…

My father has what my family calls “A MONSTER IN HIS BRAIN”. He has a devastating form of Alzheimer’s (gosh…is there ANY OTHER KIND?) that has slowly and methodically stolen away his memories. And sadly, I am all too aware that if this mind-robbing demon remains unchallenged, unchanged, it will contribute to the ending of his life…

I visited with my father today at the Nursing Home where he lives…a well-meaning facility that cares for the aging and the afflicted. I know he will never leave this place. Today I found myself grateful he doesn’t understand all that has been taken from him…

all that has been ripped from his life.

It's the one mercy of the disease, I suppose.

We sat quietly for a few minutes when my father must have sensed my growing sadness. He gently patted the back of my hand and then softly said something I hadn’t heard him say in several years…

“Daddy is here, Becky Sue. Daddy is here!”

It was then I pulled out from it’s hiding place a tiny box of Cherry Chocolates and a little heart shaped Valentine and placed them in my father’s aging hands.

Suddenly it didn’t matter if he remembered the past.


I did.

And for today that was enough…

"For the Lord comforts His people and will have compassion on His afflicted ones."   Isaiah 49:13

Blessings to you as you remember those you love and those who love you…


Rebecca

12 comments:

thecozyloft said...

Oh My! I am moved to tears by your post. I was making it ok until you got to the part with the chocolates and valentine for him because YOU remembered. That's the important thing, isn't it?

I came across your blog and had put it in my "google reader". I'm so thankful that I did. Thank you for sharing your story with your father. It touches my heart that you were able to have those moments with him.

Hope you and yours have a wonderful Valentine's Day full of love and wonderful times, Rhonda

~tea girl~ said...

Ooohhh ~r~,
Gosh, Soo heart-felt..Tears running down my cheeks..It still amazes me that the very hearts and hands that take care of each of us, we in turn take care of them.. Life is such a BIG circle, and I suppose we just need to be there and continue the circle of life.. God is soo good and gracious, and yes, He is our comfort..God bless your sweet and giving heart this Valentines day,and may we all feel Love and Peace in our own hearts this very day..God Bless you always ~t~xo

A day at the Cappuccino Café said...

This is such a touching story, my eyes are still filled with tears! What a blessing that when in your sadness, your father remembers you, his daughter!! That I am sure this is a gift you will treasure always.

Thank you for sharing such a personal & touching story about your father. My god bless you both.

Sue

A Stitch In Thyme said...

May God Bless & Keep your loving father from harm in his battle with "with the monster in his brain". My goodness, what a wonderful daughter you are!! I'm weeping for you & your father but I do know, that moment, the miniscual moment in time, you will have to cherish for the rest of not only his days, but yours. God Bless you Papa Gathering!! I'm going to find my kleenex now. Lordy lordy!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing such sweet memories. What a blessing, especially today (my birthday), as I think of my own Dad's health problems. Hard to watch our parents get older and go through what they do, but God is ever faithful and I'm so greatful for that.

Blessings to you and yours,
Lisa

My Pink & Cream Cottage said...

It was with a lot of sadness I read your post (not to mention tears) but at the same time it was beautiful. There is something very special between a father & daughter & I am sure you have a lot of very special memories. Next time you see this very special man give hom a huge hug from me please.

Lyn xxx

Victorian1885 said...

Rebecca my heart goes out to you.. for the past ten years my Mother has been living with Alzheimer's Disease and as hard at it seems at times I know in my heart she is aware when I am with her and she will always know I am her little girl. Take care and God Bless you.. Wanda

chicroses said...

Well here I am again with tears in my eyes for you. I lost both my parents a month apart in 1984 and I still could cry buckets when I think of them. I am thankful that they both went fast without to much pain. To have a parent with Alzheimers is just plain awful. I watched my dh uncle go through this and how painful it was on the family. So glad he said those words to you. Take care sally

Mary H. said...

Hi Rebecca:
Have read your message this evening about your visit with your Dad...what a sweet moment you both shared. I too visited my mother with alzheimer's today at her care home and she was able to randomly try to recall and have a sweet visit with me. I never expect too much, just always hope she remembers who I am. For some reason that means so much to me, from her. She did know me and reached out and hugged me and told me that she loved me. Those are the moments I hang onto. I feel so blessed for her in my life, but miss the "visits" and "girl talks" we used to have. She has started to refuse food now and that concerns me very much. You are right though, God takes care of his children. We must have faith...with love, Mary

jenx67 said...

Hey, don't write stuff that makes me bawl my head off, OK?

Very tough stuff, Beck. It's not for the faint of heart. I'd give anything to have one more Valentine, and only through the experience of knowing far lesser people have I come to understand the perfect love of my father. I miss him so much.

I saw that bike at Tuesday Morning and thought it was gorgeous! He done good!

glenda said...

Hey, I'm with Jen on this one...
but I was thinking you should get yourself a tiny little valentine and candy like he used to, cause you know he would if he could...
Life is so hard sometimes, but Jesus is with him, he is very near..
hugs, will ya be my valentine,
glenda

Olivia Kirkbright said...

That is one of the most beautiful things I have read in a long time. My late grandma suffered from Alzheimer's and it is one of those things that you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. Still, there are those moments when you catch a glimmer of past times and it is these times that become so precious. Much love xxx

Blog Archive