Why it’s time to write about my journey with my dad

“May glory be given to God in the highest heaven!
    And may peace be given to those he is pleased with on earth!” – Luke 2:14

– Dad and Max (December 18)

As a writer whose focus is journaling, it is hard sometimes to determine the line between what is edifying for public consumption and what is “too much information.” This is less an issue when posting about myself and my own experiences, and more of a challenging judgement when my reflections also cover other people.

But story is the most powerful medium for communicating deep truth, and it is when the stories I live intersect with other people that I tend to learn the most.

Writing about my dad:

The bottom line here is that – if I am to be honest in the kind of writing that I do – I cannot avoid writing about my dad. I spend several hours now simply helping him make it through each day, and there is no separating out his story from mine. For the time being at least, I need to start filling you in.

Dad is 92, and he has slowed down considerably over the past year. This means in terms of movement (much of the time he is very close to being non-ambulatory), in his ability to process ideas and speech, and self care too – perhaps the most challenging aspect of this season.

We have made the commitment to put every effort into managing things at home. My parents live next door, and this blessing allows us to be in and out constantly; additionally, the fact that I work from home gives me the flexibility to be available.

Getting out and choosing to live:

So Friday, a cold and wintery day in every sense, Dad and I went for an outing to Joyner Park. Dad leaned on my left arm, while Max Retriever tugged hard on my right arm. But we made it about 50-yards or so, sat down for a few minutes, and then returned to the car.

But in a sense we went farther than that. Just breathing, and drinking in the fresh air, and putting one foot in front of the other, and being reminded – and this is my point for today’s post – that things are never so difficult or overwhelming that we can’t make our best effort.

This weekend we enter the fourth week of Advent and light the candle of “Love.” Love is not only worth every effort, Love is the reason we even try in the first place.

In love, and because love makes all things possible – DEREK

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Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

1 Comment Leave a comment

  1. You are very fortunate Derek. My dad died at 52. I was working in my first job out of college with Texaco in Louisiana. I truly wish I could have had more time with him as an adult.

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