Serve #4 – Sue
Thank you Anna Nielsen for writing the following story of Sue for Serve #4: For this fourth installment of the Serve series, we bring you into the home of a woman who served her father with unconditional love and astounding grace. You will notice that instead of telling you where she served, we say instead what she did. That is what matters; the depth of her servanthood. This is my aunt Sue. When my dad approached me about writing about my aunt, I was so excited. I have had the honor to get to know her as we went on several trips together and she began to go to our church. I watched as she took in my great-grandpa, Pop, three years ago. I listened as she told me of the struggles of caring for him after he had a stroke. When asked why she had taken her father into her home, she said, “Because my husband said ‘he’s not going to be by himself. He’s not going to be alone.’” Throughout our time, she stated often the fact that her greatest motivation had been that she didn’t want Pop to be alone. After his stroke, which left him without the ability to say more than a few words for the rest of his life, he would have been completely alone living somewhere else. “He couldn’t talk,” Sue said, “that was his joy in life.” Sue didn’t want to put him into a place where no one knew him or wanted to talk to him. Because of her background in nursing, Sue was well-suited to care for Pop. And she did it so well. For the first three years of her retirement, Sue cared for Pop. She said that those three years brought with them a feeling of redemption. She had been the rebel child, she told us, breaking all the rules and pushing her parents. But in these last three years, forgiveness has been found. Pop passed away on April 11th, 2015. Just a few days before, Sue asked a question she had asked several times before. In those times, he had looked at her with a questioning look. But this time he knew confidently what his answer was. “Don’t you want to be with mom now? Aren’t you tired?” “Yes. I do.” He spoke that simple sentence clearly and without halting. It was his first words in several days and one of the last things he said. For three years, Sue cared for the man who had raised her. The man who had made her laugh and had made her angry, but who had taught her grace and love. For the last years of his life, Pop was loved and cared for. But most importantly, as Sue mentioned so many times, he wasn’t alone. Sue, thank you for your love and inspiration. But most importantly, thank you for loving and caring for the man that was so important to our family. Your grace and compassion is something that inspires many people.