A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year old grandson. The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandpa’s shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth. His son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess.
“We must do something about Grandfather,” said the son. “I’ve had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.”
So his son and daughter-in-law set a small table in the corner. There, Grandpa ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandpa had broken a couple of dishes, his food was served in a wooden bowl. When the family glanced in Grandpa’s direction, sometimes he had tears in his eyes as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food. The four-year-old grandson watched it all in silence.
One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, “What are you making?”
Just as sweetly, the boy responded, “Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food when I grow up.” The four-year-old smiled and went back to work. The words so struck the parents that they were speechless but felt a sense of bitterness. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.
That evening the son took Grandpa’s hand and gently led him back to the family table. For his remaining days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither his son nor daughter-in-law seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.
Life is about people connecting with people, and making a positive difference. Take care of yourself and those you love, today and everyday.