Submitted by Rhonda Long
In the last years of my dad’s life, with his mobility growing more limited, and his body failing him, he felt that he had no purpose.
Just an old man sitting in his chair, looking out the window everyday.
Yes, I was his caregiver, his helper.
What he did not realize, he was my caregiver as well.
He helped me turn my frustrations into compassion.
My weakness of spirit into strength.
My fatigue into determination.
My failures into triumph.
No purpose, he thought, for an old man like me.
He could not have been further from the truth.
You see, my father was an instrument of God.
His suffering brought my dear brother and I closer than we had ever been.
His ever increasing daily needs taught me about compassion, dignity, gentleness and grace.
He challenged me to turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones.
The Lord used my dad to teach us and mold us into better human beings. To bring our family together, ensuring that after the death of his physical body, we would remain together and strong.
Together, we experienced his last days, his last hours and his last breath.
He taught us through his living and he taught us through his dying.
I cannot think of a higher purpose than that.
I will always love you, Dad.
Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.
In the depths of grief, Rhonda Long's tribute to her late father transcended the boundaries of a traditional eulogy. With unwavering gratitude, she spoke of the profound impact her father had on her life as his caregiver, weaving a tapestry of love, compassion, and an unbreakable bond. Through the trials of illness and aging, her role as a caregiver revealed hidden layers of strength within herself and taught her the transformative power of compassion, dignity, and grace. In the room filled with tearful eyes, her heartfelt words resonated deeply, reminding everyone to cherish each precious moment with loved ones. Rhonda's tribute would continue to inspire others to find purpose in adversity and celebrate the enduring bonds that transcend life and death.
And so, her letter, spoken with raw honesty and vulnerability, stands as a lasting testament to the profound impact of a caregiver's tribute to a father. It is a testament to the power of love, the strength of family, and the remarkable journey of a daughter who discovered her own resilience through caring for her father.
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