Last night Matthew and I spent the night with my grandmother (Granmur.) She has been in a wheelchair for several years now and needs help getting dressed, going potty, etc. My grandfather (Granddaddy) has been caring for her in an addition on my parents house since they moved down here 6 years ago. It would take too long to tell the whole story, but basically doctors found benign tumors pressing on Granddaddy’s brain several months ago, causing dementia. He has rapidly weakened and become more and more confused. Earlier this week, my parents took him to the ER after a night episode where he was living in a fantasy and spoke of hurting my grandmother. He was admitted to the Psych ward for observation. As of today, there will be a family meeting on Tuesday with doctors to decide if he will come home go to a nursing home. As much as we want him home, it would probably be too dangerous for himself and those living with him. Anyhow, I was rocking Matthew in Granmur’s living room last night. As I looked around at all of her little knick knacks and collectibles, I remembered some of the stories she told me about where they came from or why they were special to her. I thought about how sad it is to know that, one day, I will either go to a nursing home or to heaven and my children and grandchildren will go through my special things, probably putting most of them into boxes for Goodwill. No matter how temporal I know this life is, it’s still sad to think about. I thought about how hard it would be to have James put in a hospital, not knowing whether he would come home to me or never come home again. I thought about the way that I’ve treated and will treat my children- will I teach them respect so that that they honor me when I’ m old? Will I love them unselfishly and unconditionally so that they will turn around and love me in the same fashion? What if they need to help me potty, change my diaper, or bathe me? Will they do it with humility and joy because I have shown the same humility and joy in caring for them and others around me? Obviously, we should not love others because of what is “in it for us” later. However, God’s word does talk about raising our children to bring us joy later in life. This is a story that I was emailed a long time ago- I normally detest forwards, but this one stuck in my heart:
There was a family that consisted of a dad, mom, and little boy. One day the mom’s dad came to live with them. As he grew older and older, he began to spill things, break things, and create messes and work. Eventually the boy’s parents started making him sit at his own little table during meals so that they could eat in peace. They gave him wooden bowl and spoon so that he couldn’t break their china. One day, the dad saw the little boy playing with an old piece of wood in the living room and asked him, “What are you doing, son?” The little boy said, “I’m making a bowl.” The father, of course, asked, “Why, son?” And the little boy replied, “So you will have something to eat out of when you get old.” I don’t know if it’s a true story (probably not), but I know that it made me think. Remember:
-If you don’t respect your parents, don’t expect your children to respect you.
-If you don’t respect your grandparents, don’t expect your grandchildren to respect you.
-If you aren’t polite and kind to others, don’t expect your children to be polite and kind to others, or even to you.
-And if you don’t serve those around you selflessly, then don’t expect anyone to serve you selflessly when you need it.
Just something to think about…