Palace of Care – Job Trials

Photo by Susan Wilkinson on Unsplash

He didn’t hide who he was. He owned the mistakes he had made. He had a rough childhood but didn’t make any excuses. His father had taken him from New Zealand to live in Australia when he was a young child. This took him away from the support of the rest of his family. His father didn’t do a good job of raising him. Violence was part of his young life. Soon he became a ward of his adopted state. A volatile childhood led to an unstable adolescence. Self-medication of his trauma led to involvement in the drug scene.

He met a lady, and they thought it was love. Two babies were born before she left him to look after the children by himself. He didn’t know what to do, with no father figures in his life to base his parenting on. All he knew was he did not want to be like his own father. He tried his best, but raising children is an expensive activity. He needed money but couldn’t work full-time. He turned to dealing drugs to support his children. It worked for a while, he could buy nappies, formula and other stuff his kids needed. Things were going okay until he was caught.

Intergenerational trauma was replayed. His children lost their father to the prison system, and they became wards of the state. The tragic cycle continued again, would there ever be an escape? He was deported back to his childhood home, a place alien to this adult who barely remembered his younger years. Times were hard, he tried to keep in touch with his children but they soon forgot their father.

He had secured a good job and was saving up money to find his children when illness struck. He almost died when his nervous system stopped working. He couldn’t breathe and ended up in a wheelchair. He recovered and then relapsed. He thought, like with Job, God was testing him. He didn’t succumb and stayed alive. During this time he reconnected with his son, now a teenager. His boy was doing well in school and visited him from Australia. He was so proud of him, a good reason to stay alive.

God wasn’t finished with his testing. The cancer appeared all over his body, causing terrible pain. He would not give in, he had too much to live for. He wasn’t able to look after himself anymore and needed to be admitted to a residential care facility. A man in his forties had to live with people the age of his parents. Given his criminal record, the staff and other residents were scared of him. What could he do? He was too sore to leave his bed, let alone hurt anyone. He couldn’t even sit in his wheelchair anymore.

The pain worsened and the staff didn’t know what to do about it. The hospice nurse came and made some suggestions which helped a bit, but it didn’t last long. When they arranged for him to be admitted to hospice he wasn’t scared. “It can’t be any worse than what I’m going through now.” Would they be scared of him at the hospice? “What the hell is a hospice anyway?”

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