Valerie is a 42-year-old, single, Reformed Christian lady who lives in Baltimore. She doesn't remember a time
before she knew and loved Jesus, but she does remember accepting John Calvin into her heart in March of 2000.
Valerie is a member of Christ Reformed Evangelical Church in Annapolis.
Though her career aspiration is to be a housewife, Valerie has not yet found anyone suitable who wishes to hire
her for employment in that field (or, more properly, anyone suitable has not found her), so in the meantime she
earns her daily bread working in communications -- editing, writing, print design and website management.
Unexpected Housework Inspiration
Got a call from the hospital saying they'd admitted my father. The medical reason was hypertension. The real reason was that the police brought him in because his house needs to be condemned.
Social Worker: "It was absolutely filthy. Did you know he was living like that?"
Valerie: "Well, it doesn't surprise me, because that's how he lived in his last house, which I attempted to clean out ten years ago."
I explain to her that this is how he has chosen to live. She tells me that a psychiatrist will be seeing him tomorrow ("That should be interesting," sez I) to determine whether he is competent, and that if he is found incompetent, someone will need to make decisions for him. I tell her his brother usually handles these things. She reports that he referred her to us.
So...Uncle Ben finally threw in the towel. And my number was probably the only one he had to give her, so she called me first. The elder of my brothers is an attorney, so I figure he'd better be in this with me for the technical end of things, but he's got some serious health issues himself, so I know he can't handle a lot of extra burdens. I gave the social worker his number. The younger of my brothers (though still elder than I) I told her not to bother to call. He has not seen or spoken to Dad in probably more than a quarter of a century, and this isn't likely to change things.
I suppose there's a chance they could find him competent, and this cup would pass from me, at least for now, but I think it's more likely that I'll have to shoulder this burden sooner rather than later. If we decided to wash our hands of it and leave him to the tender mercies of the state, it wouldn't be any worse than he deserves, but then there's that pesky Fifth Commandment. (Pesky, of course, in an "Oh how I love Thy law!" kind of way.)
In the meantime, I'm suddenly inspired to go wash my dishes. "There but for the grace of God go I" becomes starkly clear at moments like this. "The sins of the fathers are visited upon the sons." I am my father's child. I have a great horror of ending up where he is, and of deserving it just as much. I fear that the grace that's allowed me to squeak by thus far will run out. I know...faithless little git.
So now I'm rather inspired to go wash my dishes. My kitchen's not quite ready to be condemned, but it is gettin' a little scary in there.
Our family will be praying for you in this challenge. And, per the entry above this one, we too give thanks to God for you. Thought you ought to know as well.
On November 16, 2007 12:52 AMThe BadgerMumwrote... Well let me just say that I'm crying with jealousy and frustration right now. We tried so hard to have my daddy come live with us the last few months of his life (which was his wish as well) and we were Provientially hindered at every turn.
I know your relationship with your father is nothing at all like mine with my daddy, but still... If the Lord does bring your daddy to live with you, He is honoring you mightily.
On November 20, 2007 2:15 PMLois (seashull)wrote... I went through a similar situation with my aunt and uncle. They had no children and my brother and I were their honorary kids. I won't go into all the details here (but will via e-mail if it would help you decide what to do - let me know). It was an awful few years but the upshot is that I would do it all again because it was the right thing to do. There was no one else to do it, my brother having washed his hands of the whole thing.
On December 8, 2007 8:27 PMbarbwrote... Dear Valerie, 1. Only you can say if you broke Blogging rule #2, but from my perspective, you didn't. We are supposed to share one another's burdens, and what a burden you have!
2. Reading between the lines a bit, it sounds like you father wouldn't live with you (or anyone else, for that matter) even if you wanted him to. In addition, if he is incompetent and unable to care for himself, as a single working woman, you probably can't provide him the day-to-day resources/supervision he needs. There is that Pesky-Oh how I love Thy law 5th commandement, so biblically you can't wash your hands of the man, but that doesn't mean you have to take on sole responsibility for him. 3. Don't make any rash decisions. Seak godly counsel and pray alot. Sounds like a lot of others are praying for you, too myself included.