Caring comes full circle for father and son
When Scott Love pauses to reflect on his father Ernie, a few key elements and themes rise to the surface.
The first is his caring soul.
“I’m extremely proud of my father. He’s a wonderful man. I think in terms of his spirit. He’s a caregiver,” Scott said. “He cared for my mother. He cared for Judy (Scott’s stepmother). He cared for both of his parents. He cared for his family friends, all through their end of life experiences. It’s just kind of father’s DNA to be that sort of a person.”
The second is that his father’s love, compassion, and caring was unwavering - even in the face of hardship.
“Life presents itself with a lot of turns,” Scott said. “It’s not a highway, it’s a road with twists and turns. That’s happened for my father and it’s happened for me. Through all of that, my father has shown love and acceptance, kindness and compassion, to me, my sister, and his grandchildren, and everyone around him. I feel lucky for that. Things don’t always go to script. I’m not sure that they ever do. He’s the underpinning of being a good solid person, and a good man makes all the difference.”
Scott, who lives in Oklahoma City and is father to two children of his own, used those keys laid out by his father as he raised his children to adulthood.
“I try to respect them as adults, and trust them that the decisions they make in their lives are the right decisions for them,” Scott said. “My place is to love them and support them. I’ve felt that from my father. If we can learn as we go, and grow in our relationships and be present for each other. That’s what I’ve seen my father do for me and that’s what I want to do for my children.”
Ernie, who is 92, is battling metastasized cancer and is on comfort care.
“I’m there every week for a day or two,” Scott said. “My father cared for me when there were things I couldn’t do for myself, and now it’s my turn.”
Nevertheless, Scott is glad that his father has chosen to remain at Presbyterian Manor.
“One of the really nice things is that since my father has been diagnosed with illness, and Judy’s death, there’s been, in the time he’s lived there, a great deal of support and friendship with residents,” he says. “There’s a little shelf outside the door and they put cards on the shelf for him. The words of people who understand from their experience, that’s meant a lot. As a son, I’m really grateful for that. It’s hard to have him living away from him as he is. But he’s very clear thinking and this is where he wants to live. It’s comforting for me to see that support and community for him. Aside from his years in the Navy, that area has always been home for him. And now the last seven-plus years, the Manor.”