I just finished a Bible Study on patience this week and it brought to mind how hard it was to be patient with my dad at times. As he aged, he just did things slower, such as walking, eating, fixing things, etc.
I realize that if it weren’t for time, I’d have no problem with his being so slow. The problem usually came when I visited with him on my way to work. Since I take the bus to work, I had to leave his house at 7:25 a.m. Sometimes, he would bring up a subject right before it was time for me to leave and I’d just have to say, “got to go.” He understood.
Sometimes on Sundays visiting him after church felt rushed too because we were anxious to get home to watch the football game. Often, he would go into a long explanation about something and it became very annoying that he was taking so long to tell me something.
Probably the thing that used to aggravate me most was when I’d try to change his schedule around so that he would be able to get things done more efficiently and he’d come up with a lot of reasons I thought were stupid as to why it wouldn’t work.
I learned a lot about the elderly by watching my dad grow old. Allowing extra time when visiting him or taking him somewhere really helped improve our time together. If it wasn’t committed to be somewhere right after my time with my dad, I could enjoy him in spite of the slowness. I would be more relaxed and our time together went better.
I remember our last trip to Lowe’s was so enjoyable. He was having a great time shopping for hardware and I had cleared my schedule so could just be with him for as long as it took. He was such a wonderful dad who never wanted to be a burden or put me out. Sometimes elderly people can be very demanding and always asking you to do things for them but that’s not how my dad was at all. In fact, it was hard sometimes to get him to let me help him.
I write this to encourage you if you have elderly people who sometimes get on your nerves to check to see if time isn’t the reason. Allow extra time when visiting with the elderly so you don’t get stressed out about being late for your next appointment. If you have to take them to the doctor, take the day off to do it so if you have to wait long, it’s not really putting you out.
Oh, how I’d love to spend a whole day with my dad and his cats now! Cherish the time you have with your loved ones while you can!