A Thought To Pause Upon…
This was passed to me and I pass it on to you. I cannot give author credit as I know not who first penned this tale, but I place it here for the purpose for which it was written; to be remembered.
The Wooden Bowl
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 father,’ 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 so 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.
With acknowledgement and thanks to the author ~ Unknown.
A fascinating thing to ponder… I’ve worked on research related to seniors, so this interested me.
It’s also something I embarrassingly admit being scared of. Both my parents aging lives and my own…
Thanks for the deep thoughts.
Eating cereal from a wooden bowl,
Yes indeed, it gives one pause, doesn’t it. Thank you D.
I’m wondering how this will work once it leaves the drawing board – whether it’s physical or mental – and is confronted with concrete situations. No doubt about it, it sounds great on paper.
One can but try it.