For the twelfth year in a row, November has been the National Family Caregivers’ Month. In 2005, President Bush declared November to also become the National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. One in four families deals with difficulties of caregiving. The ever-prepared Haraka is busy rendering aid. Books in his caregiving series include, When Someone You Love Suffers from Depression, My Parents My Children—Spiritual Help for Caregivers, When Someone You Love Has Alzheimer’s, and When Someone You Love Abuses Drugs or Alcohol. Each book is packed with wise counsel from the best source possible — someone who’s been there.


Cec and Shirley welcomed Edith, an elderly relative, into their home for six and a half years. Edith had lost her only son to cancer at age seventeen. She’d spent ten years giving her husband around-the-clock nursing home care at home. Widowed for five years, she needed someone to take care of her. Were there difficult days for the Murpheys? You bet. But they did the right thing for Edith.


As a caregiving conference leader, Cec shares in straight-forward candor how to perceive giving care as a divinely appointed ministry. He believes a social support system for caretakers is vital. Cec understands caregivers doubt themselves, and even God. Sometimes there are no easy answers but he doesn’t back away from tough questions like:


           Is there any sense in this chaos?”

            “How do I become a father to my dad?”

            “My parents hate me because of these changes. How can I please them?”

            “I’ve given up my hobbies. My friends. My life.  Maybe I’m the one dying.”

            “Does God care?”


Cec believes that only when we realize we aren’t sufficient and need help can we begin to grasp God’s strength.


With down-to-earth transparency Cec leads mentoring writing clinics. He nurtures writers as he tends to his yard — the old fashioned way. He creates beauty through hard work. Cec grows no grass, only flowers. He’s earned double masters in theology and education, and jerks out dangling participles and misplaced modifiers like weeds. He edits writing with the same vengeance he uses for pruning azaleas but never forgets to add the fertilizer of encouragement. Excellence is his trademark.


Whether speaking, teaching, or ordering vegetarian food and black coffee, Cec appears incredibly self-assured, but those who know him best sense a trace of unresolved ache. A lingering tender spot in his heart — the spot from where he writes.


Cec flew a thousand miles to be with his father before he died. This is their final conversation taken from My Parents—My Children (pg201):


“I’ve only wanted one thing from you. I wanted your love. I’ve never felt I had it.”


When I finished he nodded slowly. “Hmmm, well,” he said. He left the room.