A frail old man lived with his son, his daughter-in-law, and his four-year-old grandson. His eyes were blurry, his hands trembled and his step faltered. The family would eat 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, drooping to the floor. When he grasped his glass of milk, it often spilled clumsily on the tablecloth.
With this happening almost every night, the son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess and decided they must do something about the grandfather.
So, the couple set a small table in the corner of the room. There, the grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed their dinner at the dinner table. Since the grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. Sometimes when the family glanced in the 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 child 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 replied,”Oh, I’m 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.
These words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears streamed down their cheeks. Though no words were spoken, both knew what must be done. That evening, the husband took the grandfather’s hand and gently led him back to the family table.
For the remainder of his days, the grandfather ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband or wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk was spilled or the table cloth was soiled. -Anonymous-
Here’s hoping that we all will treat our parents in a loving, respectful manner. We will all be there someday.