Advice for me in relation to my elderly father?


My father is 94 and lives 10,000 kms away. He is well looked after in a good retirement home. I planned to visit him in March - but fell ill and had to cancel the flight. On the phone he suggested i was lying about my condition to avoid visiting. I told him his remarks were unacceptable and we are not currently talking. He has always been difficult and I am not sure how to proceed as he is not well. I am happy to talk on the phone or skype - but am now reluctant to visit. I pray for him every day, He is not a christian. Can you advise me.

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It sounds like you don't deal with elderly people very much...go visit your dad. Surely you can put up with him for a day or two. It sounds like you're punishing him for not being a Christian - which doesn't sound very Christian to me? Did I not understand your point there? Surely it's the Christian thing to do to forgive him and visit him. He obviously wants to see you. So put aside your hurt feelings and go visit. And don't question his faith during that visit. He has a right to his faith (or lack of faith) too.
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Being 94 is hard work. Which can you best handle - him passing you not having gone to see him or him passing and you have made the trip?
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Keep praying for him, if that makes you feel good. Count it as something you are doing for yourself.

Keep up the phone calls and skype. Consider adding a card or letter occasionally.

Understand that many elders start to get a little paranoid. Poor Dad may actually be worried that you really don't want to see him. Forgive him, please. (Isn't that what Christians do?) Or maybe he was just fishing to hear you protest that of course you want to see him, you'd been looking forward to, etc.

Go visit as soon as your health improves. He is your father, difficult or not. I am not suggesting you move in with him and subject yourself to his "difficult" personality every day, but, really, can't you put your feelings aside for a few days?

When you pray for him every day, what do you pray for? That he will become more acceptable to you? Or that you will have the character to show him love just as he is?
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