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Grandpa's Table

 

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 grandfather'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. 
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. 

Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his 
food was served in a wooden bowl. 
When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, 
sometimes he had a tear in his eye 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 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 in 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 the 
building blocks are being 
laid for the child's future. Let's be wise 
builders and role models.

"Lord, we ask not that you move the mountains, 
but that You give us 
the strength to climb."

"Life is about people connecting with people, and 
making a positive difference."

"Take care of yourself, ... and those you love, 
... today, ... and everyday!


 


Created by Vicki Russell © December 6, 2000
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