Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Story to make you pause

better in bulk   

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.

grammy christmas card 001

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.

grammy christmas card 004

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. grammy christmas card 005

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. maecy 002

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.

Of course,

no one I know would ever

do anything like send

an elderly person to eat alone.

This story made me think

of the many other SMALL things

I do that I do not

want Kaish to learn and do.

It was a great reminder for me! 

46 comments:

Grandma J said...

When I go out to eat with my daughter's family, they all guess ahead of time as to when I will drip something on myself. Seriously. How do I know? Someone always says "I win".

The Things We Carried said...

Well done! I could hardley breath as I read.

Alicia said...

I think I read this before. So true. Our kids will totally imitate our behavior.

Casey's trio said...

I've always loved that story...what a great reminder to read tonight!

Kelly Jo said...

Thank you for posting that story. It is so easy to get impatient and frustrated (as both a parent and a child). Thank you for the gentle reminder that every parent's move is setting some type of an example.

I came across your blog through kishafloren.com

Frau said...

I've heard this before and a wonderful reminder.

Kim said...

Lovely story, it really does make you think about what you do and say in front of your children.
I came to your blog to see your lines post from I should be folding laundry, but I couldn't go past this post.
:)

Dot O said...

Beautiful story... it does make you think. I too have caught myself saying things that I regret 2 seconds after they've fallen out of my mouth.

When you read things like this, it makes you want to work that much harder...

Thanks for sharing.

Reviewer11 said...

Soo sad but a very great reminder. My mom's a nurse and she has told me some of her patients who were dumped in nursing homes where she used to work at. So sad.

April said...

WOW!!!...don't know what more to say. Thank you so much!

4 Lettre Words said...

Such a lovely post, Rebeckah! We all need that reminder from time-to-time.

That capture of Kaish on the tracks is frame-worthy, for sure. I adore the expression and colors!

Mighty M said...

A beautiful story!! Happy Friday to you.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Treat those as we wish to be treated!!!!
Great reminder, R and beautiful pictures!

Nessa said...

Wow. That's a very powerful story. One we should remember and pay close attention to.

Flash Dancing

Martha in PA said...

Wonderful post, beautiful photos!

My GMYBS

Sarah said...

I've never heard that story before, and I have to say it really touched my heart. It is so important to treat our fellow human beings, of any age, with dignity and respect. Thank you for sharing that, it is an important lesson to learn!

My Home of Five said...

You are amazing as always!

Jennifer

LceeL said...

A lovely post - I think I'm going to print it out and laminate it. As I approach my dotage, I want to have something in hand to remind my kids who I was - and who I don't want to become.

Trudy said...

I have heard this story before and it is always so touching! A wonderful reminder for me too with the little one on the way.

God bless!

Los said...

What a great story! I'd find it hard for me to ever be that way with my parents ... I owe so much to them, and can never forget this.

Lolli said...

Your pictures just keep getting better and better. Love these!

Mental P Mama said...

So well said;)

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

Beautiful story!
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Honey Mommy said...

What a great story! It is true that we should treat others the way we would like to be treated!

Marilyn said...

Great post as usual. A good lesson for all.

RR Mama said...

Great story! Yes our children learn from our actions. I only hope I am doing a good job. But I guess if my kids put me in an old folks home I know that I failed.

Heidi said...

That is beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with us.

the monkey's mama said...

okay this made me cry. Pregnancy hormones? perhaps. But seriously. I know this is not a real story but MAN I felt for grandfather!

Thank you for reminding us busy moms and dads that what we are saying and, more importantly, doing is noticed!

Teacher Tom said...

Beautiful!

My MIL always spills something on herself when we eat and talks with her mouth full . . . I'll think of this story every time I eat with her.

Nancy Campbell said...

Just lovely, and the pictures are perfect.

Dallas said...

Thank you for the sweet comment on my blog, and thank you for posting such a touching story. Your photos are really wonderful! take care,
Dallas

Joanna Jenkins said...

Big Sigh! Great job.
Thank you
xo

Caroline said...

Awesome shots and a very thought provoking story! Well done!

jennykate77 said...

O, geez. Here I go again...tearing up. I have deep compassion for elderly people and I can't stand to think of them being mistreated. It is so true that our children are so impressive. They take their cues from us. If we want to know how we act, we just have to look at them and their behavior. I'm trying to change a few things. Great story. Beautiful pictures.

Hope you guys have a wonderful weekend!!

Michelle said...

Somehow I didn't think this was your story... in that way. I can't believe someone would do that to another human being, but oh thank the children for the showing us what they see and teaching us every time!

Suki said...

What a wonderful story!
Thank's for sharing!

Louisiana Belle said...

My mother has Parkinson's disease so this post hit me especially hard. I cannot fathom anyone treating a beloved family member so cruelly due to a debilitating disease. Although this story may be an allegory, it's still a great reminder to follow the Golden Rule no matter the circumstances. :)

blueviolet said...

That actually made me cry. Really cry. It breaks my heart when I see how disrespectfully our elders are treated.

lifebythecreek said...

With a 90 year old father in law, this one always hits home. But it's what you wrote at the end that pierced my heart. I had a grumpy day today, because the boy had an obstinate one. I am quite sure that he learned very little good from my behavior.. I think I shall print out this post so I can look at it through the day tomorrow and do better...
love your sweet heart.. I cannot imagine you EVER doing anything that your children shouldn't imitate!

Liz said...

I really needed to read this today! Thanks for posting it! Great pictures!

Siegrid Cain said...

This is such a beautiful story - I do have tears in my eyes and it's only 7 a.m.!!! Thank you for sharing it!!!

Mom Taxi Julie said...

I've read that story before and it's a great lesson!! We must take care of our family and not simply send them away or ignore them.

Caroline said...

I got all teary-eyed . . . so true about what children see and observe. I think the key, actually, is the OBSERVE part. We can see something without actually observing it. Children are so different. Thanks for the reminder, and thanks for dropping by my blog this morning!

mimi said...

Becky!! I'm crying over here....look what you've done :) That story was so deep on so many levels. Thanks for making me think and to be more aware.

Yaya said...

Children are so perceptive and they really can teach us so much.

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