photo courtesy of Stephanie Toews
Loving Well | September 2021 Editor's Note
by stephanie toews
“To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest of honors.”
This week, I got a call that no one is ever ready to receive; my grandpa passed away. The sweetest, most polite, almost 93-year-old man worked hard his entire life, beat COVID last year, and left a legacy that will never be forgotten. He had told my dad on a couple of recent occasions that he was ready; still, we never would have been prepared to lose him. So as our family processed the news, the question that kept resounding in my heart and head was, did I love him well?
As our relatives and loved one's age, loving them well takes different forms and requires wisdom and decisiveness. I watched my dad, and his siblings make hard choices about what was best for Grandpa as his health declined throughout the past several years. I am in awe of how they loved their dad well through the years filled with many changes and hardships. I saw their hurting hearts make difficult but necessary decisions about driving, moving into assisted living, rehab facilities, endless things that were undoubtedly tough for grandpa (and them) to process. Still, I watched my dad pour into his father in the most beautiful and humble of ways, taking him to doctor appointments, cleaning his hearing aids, taking on a role that many with aging parents have to embrace, and doing so with so much respect and humility.
This issue hits quite close to home for my family as we process our loss; I know it will resonate with readers too because everyone has aging loved ones. Just as our family was so grateful for the local resources in place to help care for Grandpa, I’m certain others who live in our community are too. In these pages, we explore some ways to keep the memories alive throughout the generations. In addition, we highlight two of the numerous local organizations existing to equip our elders and their families for the best quality of life possible.
As you make your way through life, I hope that you make the most of every opportunity you're given with the people God has blessed your path to cross. I pray you love deeply and love well, we aren't promised tomorrow, and in the end, love is the only thing that matters.