The Story my Dad Told Me about the Pelican
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Excerpt®My dad and I were very close. As a single parent, he raised me from the ages of 12 to 19, the age at which I left home. That year, I moved from Denver to Los Angeles to explore what the world had to offer me. Dad remarried, and we remained close. Over the years, I’d look forward to his visits to Los Angeles to celebrate his birthday with me each March. We would catch up and talk about a wide range of subjects during these visits. Since Dad was a church pastor, among other things, he used our special time together to share the Word of God with me.”As long as I live, I’ll never forget one of his birthday visits. I decided to take Dad to Redondo Beach on a Wednesday afternoon. Hardly any people were around, and the day was beautiful. The ocean was misty, and the moon had risen and was hanging above us in the sky. Dad and I walked along the beach for a while until we found a comfortable spot to sit in the sand. Then, as we sat gazing at the water and listening to the calls of the seagulls and pelicans that were gracefully flying by us, he began to talk to me about God’s love for humanity.Pointing to one pelican slowly soaring high in the sky silhouetted against the moon, Dad said, “Carolyn, do you see that pelican? Imagine if that beautiful bird had only one responsibility in life. What if it had to fly to the moon and drop off a single grain of sand that it was carrying in its pouch, and then it had to repeat this task until all of the sand was removed from the face of the Earth?” Looking directly at me, he asked, “How long do you think it would take?”“It would take forever,” I answered.”The love of God and my love for you are eternal,” he said, “Even after I’ve gone to Glory, for as long as it would take a pelican to remove the sand from the Earth a grain at a time, that’s how long my love will be with you.”That was the first time I can recall Dad speaking with me about the prospect of his death. Of course, I didn’t really want to discuss it and, in fact, I think I changed the subject. Being in my 20s, death seemed so far off. On some level, I felt Dad would live forever, and nothing bad could ever happen to him. But I also made a vow to God on that day that I’d always be there to take care of Dad if he needed me. He was my best friend, my hero, and my adviser, and I hoped and prayed he’d be with me forever. Later on, I did my best to honor this promise.The good times I had with my dad continued for the next 33 years, and there were many opportunities for us to discuss his end-of-life wishes. “We did the best we could to prepare. But when I became his caregiver, I discovered that knowing someone’s wishes is not enough. Even doing paperwork is not always enough to protect an elderly parent and a family caregiver, particularly if other family members disagree with arrangements that have been made. Even if you try to do the right things and do your best to prepare for every possible scenario that might arise, the chronic illness of a parent and the costs associated with it are challenging to manage.”
What GOD Has Done?
“I discovered my CALLING, PURPOSE & MISSION”
God poured in me the knowledge to write Eight (8) books on the subject matter of Caregiving and Practicing Self-care, so at the End-Of-Life, families can come together as a strong unit and provide comfort and love to one another; while celebrating the life of their loved one.
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, …
“The Library of Congress has named Carolyn A. Brent, an Authority on Caregiving. Brent’s books are in the Library of Congress, the libraries of the University of Oxford, Harvard, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, and numerous other medical centers, universities in North America, and beyond. Designated as an Editor’s Choice, she received the ranking of “excellent” by the Library Journal.”