Monday, February 04, 2008


Zeb Shook, my dad, is the living definition of stubborn. In fact, if one were to look up the word in the dictionary, I believe his name would appear. Papa's not a happy camper at his new residency, his caretaker's home, and although he can't even lift his arms high enough to put on his glasses much get himself out of a chair and to the restroom, he insists he's going to walk home (a distance of a good 25 miles or more) and take care of himself.

He's so homesick he can't think of anything positive in his life, despite the fact he's been able to stay at home many more years than many, many other people in his situation get to, despite the fact he's cared for by Pansy, the most wonderful caretaker on earth, in her home where he gets total individual attention, homemade food, an immaculately clean living space, total attention to his needs, his own television, company during the day and visits from family and friends. He simply can't count his blessings.

He's so homesick he's nasty, hurtful, and outright mean when my mom or I try to reason with him and assure him we understand how difficult this transition is for him. He's especially not nice when I remind him his only other option is to go to a nursing home since my mom can't care for him any more. Again, he insists he can and will care for himself.

Unfortunately, these behavior patterns are little more than a continuation of the ways we've all known from him all his life. Zeb's never been an easy person to get along with. And unfortunately for him, he's met his match in my sister and me when it comes to holding firm, very lovingly so, with him.

My heart overflows with love and compassion for my dad. And, I'm very, very conscientious of all the factors figuring into the dynamics of trying to help him. I so hope he can come around and begin to appreciate the depth of our love for him, as well as the love and respect Pansy's home offers him. He really is loved and all of us who are involved in his life are doing the best we can for him.

Keep your fingers crossed for all of us and stay tuned.....

1 comment:

Molly said...

“Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again.” Sarah Ban Breathnach
Thinking of you and your family at this time.~ ~Molly