As our parents get older, it’s important to take care of them. Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” It’s the only commandment that has a promise included, “that your days may be long.”
With all the restrictions and red tape stopping family members from visiting their loved ones in nursing homes and hospitals, one courageous daughter decided to do the unbelievable to see her father.
The woman from St. Paul, Minnesota, was tired of all the restrictions stopping her from seeing her 87-year-old father, Harold, at the Good Samaritan Society in Stillwater.
Lisa Racine, 58, had window visited and tried to video chat but due to Harold’s age, the father of eight found it difficult to navigate live chat. So she decided to pick up an evening shift at the nursing home several times a week even though she worked full-time as a project manager at a printing company.
“One day I just was thinking, ‘How can I see my dad more?”‘ Racine said. “And I thought, ‘Hey, why don’t I get a job there?’” The possibility was even more promising as the administrator at the nursing home was Racine’s cousin, Rene Racine.
“I thought it was a wonderful idea, you know, just a wonderful idea that she came up with,” Rene said. “Everybody really loves her. She’s a great person, has a great personality, and a good work ethic.”
Racine started coming to the nursing home from Dec. 1, two or three times a week to stock cupboards and refrigerators, serve food, and then clean everything up after dinner service. After her shift was done, she would go and spend time with her dad. The first time she showed up, Harold didn’t even recognize her — but he was immediately grateful for the visits.
“He just thought I was a nurse’s aide or something,” Racine recalled. “I said, ‘It’s me, Dad,’ and he’s like, ‘Lisa, what are you doing here? How did you get in? Who let you in?’ He thought Lisa would be in trouble for coming here, “I have a bit of a routine,” she told him. “I usually arrive a few minutes early and I go check on my dad and then when I’m done serving dinner, I check on him again.”
“At the end of my shift, then I go in his room and I visit with him and it could be anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, hour-and-a-half, depending on how he’s feeling. He definitely looks forward to it and it raises his spirits. I wish I could be there every day, but unfortunately, that’s not possible. I feel like it’s giving him a little more zest for life.”
Lisa Racine gets paid to work there but she’ll cut back on her hours as the restrictions are lifted. She says the visits have clearly done good for Harold’s well-being, and the two share a special bond. “I can’t believe they pay me for this,” Racine said. “I could you know take a yoga class or go to happy hour, I’d rather come and mop the floor and clean dishes so I can see my dad … He’s cleaned up plenty of messes after me in the past.”
“The trials and tribulations of raising that many children, in the end it certainly paid off,” Harold said. “I’m getting my rewards back, tenfold.”
1 Timothy 5:8 ESV “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”