After starting a new life in Seattle, I saw God provide for me in so many ways, but I never got to see all of what my life would have been had I stayed. In the beginnings of the Great Recession of 2008, I lost my job and my elderly father became sick, so I went to Florida to care for him.

Dad was almost 80 years old and suddenly showed symptoms of serious dementia. He was not thinking clearly at all, and everyone suspected Alzheimer’s. My mother had passed away ten years prior, but Dad had a new girlfriend his age who made sure he had temporary home care until I arrived.

When I got there, Dad was grateful to see me, and I knew I was doing the right thing! Immediately, I started taking him to doctors to figure out what was happening to him. The doctors kept saying, “This doesn’t fit the usual pattern of Alzheimer’s.”

The doctors recognized problems with my dad’s medication, so they changed it around quite a bit. Within a few days of the changes, he snapped out of it!

Dad, my family, and I thanked God! He was thinking clearly again and had no problems taking care of himself.

Of course, this led to a big family discussion. My father wanted me to handle all his bills and be ready to manage things if he got sick again.

I agreed to assist, and then he said, “Move on with your life! Don’t let me hold you back!”

Dad did not want me to be his full-time caregiver if he got sick again, so he signed a long-term care agreement with a retirement community.

My dad believed he needed to leave me free to live my own life. I had certainly been willing to be his full-time caregiver, but now that I knew his wishes, apparently God had other plans for me.

My next steps were to decide where to live and apply for jobs again. As I checked online, I realized that because of the recession there was now nothing in my line of work in Seattle or in Florida near my father. There were almost no opportunities even back where I’d once lived for over twenty years.

One exciting opportunity remained: Southern California! My mind immediately went back to my friends in San Diego who had been so generous to feed me and give me a place to stay on my last cross-country trip. Several other friends from my previous church had also moved there.

Hmm . . . I think I knew where I would be wandering next.

Have you ever thought you were locked into a difficult life only to find yourself free? Do you currently care for aging parents or worry about doing so one day?

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