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A Lesson Of Age

Sep 16th 2010 at 7:45 PM

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and a four-year old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together nightly at the dinner table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating rather difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass often milk spilled on the tablecloth. The 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 the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner at the dinner table. Since grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. Sometimes when the family glanced in grandfather's direction, he had a tear in his eye as he ate 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 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 from when I grow up." The four-year-old smiled and went back to work. The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done. That evening the husband took grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table.

For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled. Children are remarkably perceptive. Their eyes ever observe, their ears ever listen, and their minds ever process the messages they absorb. If they see us patiently provide a happy home atmosphere for family members, they will imitate that attitude for the rest of their lives. The wise parent realizes that every day that building blocks are being laid for the child's future.

Let us all be wise builders and role models. Take care of yourself, ... and those you love, ... today, and everyday!

Trusting children learning from your mistakes and above all realizing you have made an error and apoligizing for it! That my friend is the greatest gift of all time. Be safe be wise and be smart. You will overcome all adversity and enjoy life.

Have a good week

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3 comments
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Nov 9th 2010 at 5:46 AM by stephaniebeth
I haven't read this story for years! I had forgotten about it, I think its one they made us read in elementary school or something.
   
Oct 9th 2010 at 12:55 PM by m8t43
Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful article with us. It too brought tears to my eyes. I worked as a PCA for many years, and witnessed much cruelty administered by Family members to their elders. I was always glad to be able to smooth things over after they left :). And yes children are so much wiser then we grown ups are, in so many ways.
   
Sep 17th 2010 at 5:02 PM by deewest
This article brought tears to my eyes! Very good story!
   

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