Finding Common Ground

Senior man wearing headphones

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.—HEBREWS 16:13 (NIV)

My dad and I shared many things: We were fans of the Boston Celtics, Gene Kelly, and mysteries and thrillers.

As Dad got older, he faced multiple health issues including diabetes, stroke and seizures. But what challenged him the most was losing much of his eyesight due to glaucoma. Because he was legally blind, he had to give up reading. I felt so sad for him and a little sad for me, too, because we couldn’t talk about the twists and turns in the latest book we had read.

Luckily, we found a solution. Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts, has a books-on-tape library, and it was easy for me to order tapes for him. When our mailman would deliver the tapes in our mail slot, they made a distinct thud when they hit the ground.

“I think I got some books,” my dad would call out to me after he heard the familiar sound. “What did you get me?” he asked. He was always so excited—like a kid at Christmas as I read the titles and authors’ names.

I would try to read the same book that Dad was listening to so we could continue our literary conversations. It remains some of the best times that I spent with my father.

Finding a hobby you can pursue together or even just sharing something in common with the person you’re taking care of can bring so much more joy and richness to the relationship.

Today's Prayer:

Lord, thank you for giving me the joy of common ground with my loved one.

Adapted from Strength & Grace: Daily Devotions for Caregivers, a new publication from Guideposts