“Lord, grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” – St. Francis of Assisi
Yesterday morning I drove to Abbotsford for my weekly visit to see my father at the Menno Home. When I arrived and entered the front door, the place was devoid of all residents. The recliners that face the TV screen were covered in white sheets. My dad, who is always in the center chair, was also missing. The TV kept blathering on to an empty room.
I went around the corner to the woman at the front desk. “I’m here to take my dad out to the courtyard for our picnic visit,” I said, resolutely pretending that we weren’t the only two left behind at the scene of the Rapture.
“All the residents are in their rooms. No one is allowed to have visitors or to go out. We have a scabies outbreak.”
She told me how everything had to be quarantined and that they were making every effort to contain and control it. She ended with, “Please pray for us.”
“Yes,” I said, “I will and please tell my dad that we were here and that we love him, okay?”
I tried not to imagine him alone in his room. I tried not to think about him with no visitors.
And I keep trying not to imagine him sitting in that small room with his single bed, unable to read because of macular degeneration, unable to hear even a radio program, or to watch television, and now unable to have any visitors at all.
I want to come to a conclusion with this. I want to have some takeaway moral, a lesson to be learned, something good that can be learned as a result of this little story.
I really really want that.
So far I can’t find it. I can’t find the silver bit in this shitty-dark cloud. I am wearing my shiniest-optimistic-rosy-coloured-glasses and yet, nothing is coming up roses at all.
It doesn’t matter what I want. This is what it is.
Perhaps this is what is meant by really praying…just praying for peace to accept how things are.