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Felicia Searcy
Felicia Searcy is an award winning transformational life coach, professional speaker, author and minister. Felicia's life is about empowering and inspiring you to live your dream life. Your dream is her passion! She is thrilled by the results that people experience as they learn and apply the system she shares – and she is passionate about helping you create the results you want to live your dream life!
Felicia Searcy | Forgotten Identity-Or the day my dad forgot who I was.
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Forgotten Identity-Or the day my dad forgot who I was.

Forgotten Identity-Or the day my dad forgot who I was.

A few weeks ago, I was having lunch with my dad laughing it up, having a good time, when he leaned in and said in a very formal voice, “Ma’am?” I knew in that moment my dad forgot who I was. My father has Alzheimer’s disease and each time I am with him, I notice how a bit more of him slipped away. I relocated him to Tennessee a little over a year ago so he would be closer to me since I am responsible for his care. Consequently, I have been able to spend more time with him before the disease takes him away completely.

 

I have to say that there is something unnerving about your parent not recognizing you.  It is not a consistent thing right now, yet I know that event was a foreshadowing  of what’s coming.  I find myself looking at how I define myself and what life will be like without his presence.  Who will I be the day when he looks at me and asks me my name?

There is a verse in Jeremiah 1:5 that goes, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…”  That line brings me such comfort as I reversed roles with my dad. Now, don’t get me wrong, our relationship has not been one of the rosy, picture perfect relationships.  But as I face the tasks that many people my age find themselves doing, I notice how the old hurts, betrayals and resentments just don’t matter anymore. As I hear the words of God whisper in my heart reminding me of my true lineage and place, I can see my dad for who he is and deeply appreciate what he gave me over my lifetime.

Being here for him in this way has stretched and expanded me in ways that I could never have imagined nor did I know I wanted to be stretched and expanded this way. I have discovered a new found strength and capacity for compassion that was dormant within me waiting to be activated. And as I move through our routine together, I see elements of both my parents come alive in me. I see family influence in me from even further back as I hear my deceased grandmother’s voice speak through my voice and minister  to my dad through my hands.

I not grateful for Alzheimer’s. I miss the intense conversations and disagreements and the equally passionate expressions of love that my dad and I often had.  But, I am grateful for the gifts that come in all situations, this one included. I am grateful for remembering who I am as his daughter and ultimately God’s daughter. I am grateful for increased strength and compassion. And most of all, I am grateful for this time together while he still knows my name and the way we can joke about it those times he forgets.

 

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  • Judy Robertson
    Reply

    Felicia, that was a very touching and inspiring testimony. When our parents become frail and we reverse roles with them, something very spiritual happens….our hearts are touched in a powerful way when we see them in a weakened conditioned….no longer the strong parent they once were. We begin to see them as who they truly are..precious souls that did the best they could with what they knew at the time and what they had to work with They become more precious to us than we ever thought possible…and we grow tremendously in areas we had no clue we were in need of change….it is a very special time, never dreamed of, but necessary in our journey to help us also remember who we truly are….as we and our parents continually become more enlightened and Christ-like. I went through this process with my mother and it was life changing. I actually grieved deeply for her while she was still alive, but going downhill so quickly. It was not an easy thing to accept. When she made her transition I felt like an orphan. That was an unexpected feeling. My parents had always been there for me, strong and supportive….but then I realized I was now being called to realize the strength and presence of God within who is always with me to guide and support me. I believe my parents live on in and around me every day. Their influence is so real and precious. I thank you for sharing your feelings and situation with your dad, as I feel these things with you. It’s all about our growth, precious, yet bitter sweet. But always through and by the inspiration and LOVE of GOD for our good. Love and peace….Namaste’, Judy

    March 29, 2011 at 9:55 pm
  • Judy Robertson
    Reply

    I’d like to add a footnote. After the 3 years I took care of my mother and going through the grieving process while she was alive, I was so relieved that when she made her transition she no longer suffered and had become pure light and was experiencing bliss. I was happy for her, but there has never once been a day since 2003 that I have not thought about her and missed her dearly. I look forward to our glorious reunion when that time comes.

    March 29, 2011 at 10:03 pm
  • I relate to this as I see my mom slip away. We have had a stormy relationship that she would always remind me of. I live in the present-the now and the past is what it is. I am always happy to see her and give her a big hug and kiss. I love and respect her for her.

    March 30, 2011 at 9:02 am

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