This is a strange world that I have stumbled into. I never would have guessed that as I near my 30th birthday, my favorite people to hang out with would be approaching their 100th birthdays. I feel so blessed to get to have the experiences I am having, even though it can be incredibly hard at times.
When my dad first needed assistance and moved into a facility that provided care, it was really hard to adjust to this new way of life. I know it was much harder for him, but I had no idea how hard it would be on me. It was hard to see my dad declining physically and it was really hard to witness the other people around him. I avoided contact with others and I stayed for an hour or two at a time. I would walk quickly to his room and avoid eye-contact with anyone along the way. It totally bummed me out to be around people who needed so much care. I realized that I was projecting my own feelings about age, sickness, and mortality onto them. I assumed these people were suffering and it felt helpless. Thankfully, I knew I couldn’t turn away, I had to experience those feelings. Slowly, I began to open up and not judge other people as much. I got to know them and began to listen. I still struggle when something is particularly tough, but I bounce back faster every time. When I embrace the sadness and the frustrations, it allows me to move through and see the beauty and grace in the situation. I never thought I would get to the point where it is literally my favorite place in the world to be. I miss everyone when I have to leave and I stay all day whenever I can.
The biggest appeal is my dad, he is my best friend and I am so honored to be able to set my life up in a way that I can spend as much time with him as possible. I learn something new about him all of the time and he makes me laugh like no one else can. I hope I can capture and share some of his amazingness with the world.