Billy Holland | Love will endure whatever may come
It’s hard to believe that 6 months have gone by since my dad passed away. I know that many of you have lost one or both parents, and I’m sure we never really get over losing our loved ones but rather learn how to adapt as we try to keep pressing forward. Dad was the hub in our family where all the spokes were connected, and now without him, there is a huge void. As the oldest child, I’m trying to step in and help in any I can, but only the Lord can heal the wounds within our heart and bring the comfort and peace that passes all understanding. He was only 77 years old, which is a decent span of life, considering he lived with serious kidney problems. He had an illness called PKD which stands for, Polycystic Kidney Disease. As the kidney function continues to decline, the individual must eventually turn to dialysis in order to keep the rest of the body functioning properly.
For reasons that my dad came to terms with, he decided to not have a transplant. He started dialysis in 1996 and last year made the unbelievable stretch of 20 years on the “machine.” He was a model patient which helped greatly with his success. These last two decades, he had times when he felt decent and then there were weeks when he suffered from terrible pain, but you would hardly know it. He would force a smile and always try to direct the conversation toward something other than him being sick. Since his departure to heaven, which by the way gives us much peace and encouragement, I have come to realize how much my mother also struggled. She has always been in relatively good health, but since they had such a close relationship, she naturally became absorbed in what he was going through. I am sorry to say that most of the time, we were so focused on dad, we hardly noticed that as a constant caregiver, it was not only his life that had become turned up-side down but hers as well.
After church a couple of Sundays ago, she went to Pizza Hut for lunch. A couple that she knew walked in and went over to her table to say hello. The woman said, “you are sitting all by yourself,” to which mom instantly replied, “well, I might as well get used to it,” and it is somewhat comical but also a little sad. I have written a short story called, “Till death do us part” and it’s posted it on my website if you would like to read it sometime. It’s about the unfailing commitment and compassion my parents had for one another through nearly 60 years of marriage, and it reminds us that no matter what the future holds, God’s love can give us the faith and strength to walk through anything together.
Dr. Holland lives in Central Kentucky with his wife Cheryl, where he is a Christian author, outreach minister and community chaplain. To learn more visit: billyhollandministries.com.