Beatrice Adu writes: When your parents appear to be slipping away
My mum had just been admitted to the country’s premier hospital and my dad had a minute ago telephoned me that for the first time in his life, he had recorded the highest temperatures ever.
He’s 56 and my mum, 50.
‘Are we going to die after working so hard and hoping we can now start our retirements that we have been feverishly preparing for?’ I could almost hear that from my dad’s loud heart and silent mouth.
He is one hardworking man who never wanted to retire at the age of 60. ‘I love work but I love my life and should I have the opportunity, I would like to retire early and give more time to my family, my community, and nature’. He would always say.
So after receiving these calls just two hours apart, I decided to take a walk on one of the hills in the very mountainous community where I live. It gives me that country living that I’ve always dreamt of. There are a few horses around. There is also a cattle ranch; that I don’t like much because of the moo sound from the cows anytime they are being milked. I love the horses because they are very nice and gentle. Sometimes when I go rub my palms on their beautiful yet magnificent heads, I feel they give me a smile back.
But on this walk this time, I chose to go to that part of the area where there is neither a ranch nor paddock just so I could think: ‘What am I going to do since I’m an only child?’
Before taking my walk, I had passed by the hospital first to check on mum and then I left her in the hands of her caretaker who is the one in charge of not just her but my dad as well when they are home. It was when I had quickly changed into my casual wear that I received the calls about my parent’s ill-health.
With a water bottle, of course, my phone, and a cracker which was now less appetizing, I set off for my walk at about 5:30pm.
As just stated, the sun was getting ready to set so there were no fears of heat. I moved to the orange tree and started staring aimlessly. The birds were already busily chirping and disruptive of the silence I wanted. Maybe, they were having a family reunion or something.
It was beginning to get dark and then suddenly, I saw drops of what felt like water on my left hand. I looked up and it was cloudy. I was willing to get soaked in the rain without any care about my hair or clothes. The birds became quiet and I could feel and hear the natural environment more clearly. Suddenly, I heard a whisper. I opened my eyes. It was Mr. Aka. Apparently, he had been calling me for some two minutes. He was returning from the farm which is not so far from where I have been seated.
“It’s getting dark young lady. What are you doing here alone under this tree?” He asked fatherly.
“My parents are not so well and I needed some time of reflection. It just hit me” I responded.
After giving him details, he placed his hand sickle and other tools down and pulled me from the ground.
“Please follow me to my place. Will give you something warm to calm you down and then we’ll talk”. I followed and he gave me some hot soup.
“When my wife passed two years ago, I felt that I had lost all that mattered to me”. He started and continued. “I remember her every day. Sometimes I forget and I move to the backyard garden thinking she’s still there watering the vegetables as she would passionately do every morning. As you are very aware my daughter, I am 77. I may be joining her soon but I thought maybe the Lord would grant us more years together.
Before she died, both of us endured a very unpleasant situation. You moved in here about 5 years ago so you may not have a lot of information. Due to the drought that happened 10 years ago, all my crops failed and some of my livestock died. We incurred so much debt that although subsequently everything started getting well, we still could not pay.
In the end, the large portion on which my farm and to some extent the ranch is on was threatened. To cut a long story short, I prayed and I mean desperately. Before a closure could be made on the sale of this family land, a company had set up, this new company that you know of and in a matter of months our produce were bought and guess what the amount of money they gave us was exceedingly more than what I usually get on the average market.
Shortly, we paid 90 percent of that debt to our creditors, and guess what they, in turn, canceled the 10 percent left. Why did I tell you these? Because I know all things are possible when we calm down, pray, and seek from within.”
With these words, my spirit was lifted up, and guess what? in a matter of four weeks, my dad was back to normal and mum was discharged from what the doctors described as a mild stroke. She was actually completely healed. There is no situation that is beyond repairs. Trust, pray, believe, and act. It works.