Nearly a week ago, I shared a piece of my heart with many and asked for unconditional love and support as I embarked on a new chapter in my earthly journey with my father. At that point in time, I had learned about his diagnosis of dementia and that it would not improve. Since then, I have learned that he needs 24 hour care; greater than what is provided in his current surroundings.
After discussion with the nursing team, Dad, his partner and I decided the best outcome was to move him back to Ohio where he could be close to family and receive the best memory care possible. Though we made the decision, a myriad of thoughts swirled in my mind like a vortex: How do I get him from Key West to Ohio in this condition? Where would he go? How do I DO this? Where do I even begin?
Oddly enough, I could have written 200 more questions in that moment. But today, I couldn’t tell you what any those questions were.
How is that possible?
Nothing describes it more accurately than the words of Lao Tzu:
“The Journey of A Thousand Miles Begins with One Step”.
Over the past 3 weeks, I have traveled over 2600 miles and over the next week, I will travel 2600 more. The wisdom applies regardless – even a journey of five thousand miles begins the same way; with one step. Through this entire journey, the only focus I have had is that my father be happy, safe and healthy. Truth be told, thoughts become reality.
Last Thursday, I flew home after being in Key West nearly 2 weeks.
Friday, I toured 4 Assisted Living Facilities
Monday, I narrowed it down to two.
Tuesday, I picked my father’s new home, signed the papers and obtained possession.
Today, logistics. Flight to Key West: check. 2 seats back to Ohio: check. Coordination between Assisted Living Facilities: check.
Tomorrow, movers do their thing (thank God my Dad left a lot of his furniture in my basement…and moreover, thank God I never had the desire to hold a garage sale to sell it!)
Friday, utilities on and unpack.
Saturday, bed delivered and space will be set up to recreate “Jim’s Place”; as many familiar pieces of furniture, pictures and nostalgia as I can pack into 350 square feet will come alive for my father’s arrival.
Sunday, it’s back to Key West to ensure a smooth and seamless transition for my father.
Next Tuesday afternoon, we will arrive in his new home. My only prayer is that we can all say “Mission accomplished: Dad is happy, safe and healthy”.
You’re probably asking, “Julie, why are you sharing all these details? I get it, lots to get done….so what’s the point?”
Friends, the point is that each of these “things” or “events” represents one step in the journey. Within each of these steps are baby steps, which contribute to the larger event or experience. Without the proper focus in each baby step (which then creates the bigger steps), the journey has no direction, no meaning.
However, when we maintain a loving and peaceful focus; when we believe that with God, all things are possible; when we take each baby step with the confidence of knowing we are loved and that good things will come to us, the journey becomes much more enjoyable.
This leg of my journey was not what I had anticipated. Quite frankly, I believe my journey is far from over. Either way, I absolutely love this journey of life. I am well. My husband and kids are supportive and understanding. The level of support from loved ones, friends, colleagues and acquaintances has been second to none. Best of all, my father will be 10 miles away from me, not 1300 miles and I get the opportunity to walk very closely with him on the rest of his journey.
May you never take your blessings for granted and may you never underestimate the power of your own thoughts. Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right, one step at a time.