Sunday, August 30, 2009

What Do We Teach our Children

Please visit Charlotte and Ginger, our wonderful hostesses for Spiritual Sunday. Just click on the blue sky to the right.

When I first read this story, I was so moved by it...I hope it touches your heart.

"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.” Therefore, 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 us be wise builders and role models."

I was at the hospital once, washing my hands in the ladies room, when a young woman came in with an elderly woman. As the elderly woman was using the toilet, the younger woman badgered here by continually telling her to hurry up...over and over again, without taking a breath. The poor woman told her, "I'm trying, I'm trying..." I was so upset and angry. I politely told her to be patient, that a person can't help how long it takes them to use the toilet. She glared at me, waited about 10 seconds and started in again. When the woman was finished, she came out with tears in her eyes, looked at me, and just hung her head down as she headed for the door. The young woman grabbed her arm and "helped" her out. I just stood there for a moment and prayed for both of them.

We're all getting older...if we're fortunate we will reach a ripe old age and will even need a little help getting around. I hope I taught my children well. Pray for those that were not taught to be patient and kind...pray that God will change their hearts.



  1. I too have seen mistreatment of our elders. Japan has it right. They honor age.

  2. Mary,
    Such a beautiful post...You said it all so wonderfully I can say no more. Thank you for these words and the message they convey. Vicki

  3. Such a beautiful post! We will all be "there" one day won't we? Thanks for a precious story!

  4. What a reminder for us all to practice common courtisy regardless of age. I volunteer helping several seniors and they may have failing health, but their hearts and their minds are still young. It is so wonderful to hear their stories and to see their smiles. It is so true that children watch everything we do and hear everything we say. What a precious lesson. Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Marty

  5. That is so emotional to read that story about the old man...it is a good reminder on how to treat older people for we will be one of those one day soon. We all need to have compassion for one another no matter what their age.~Hugs, Patti

  6. Hello Mary,
    Good stories. Patience is hard to learn, and the eyes of a child are so telling. I am glad to see you are a caring American. This is a wonderful blog, I came via Lynn's Lovlies, another caring American.
    Happy Sunday!

  7. This is a great story. Stories like this touch my heart. I wonder if the people who should be reading stories like this ever read them.
    Thank-you for this great post today.
    God Bless,

  8. Thanks, Mary, for your post. I am so moved I will be reading it tonight at our church service.
    It's something I've witnessed in the past.
    So sad.

  9. Good reminder to be more patient and caring.

    Thank you for sharing,

  10. Dear Mary~~what a wonderful reminder that every one matters. As I type this (with my eyes full)I can just picture that poor lady's face with tears in her eyes. Bless her heart and so many like her that are not respected and loved as they should be, even by their own family.

    As each moment passes we ALL move to an older age...

    I am so grateful for our friendshop, sweet Mary!

    Have a Splendid Sunday!
    Hugs and Love,

    ~Let Freedom Ring!~

  11. Our family has been learning bunches from my hubby's Dad and Mom. His Dad had a stroke a little over a year ago. He is in an assisted care place and he has been such a radiant testimony for Christ. He lead a Bible study for about 6 months at the facility until he recruited a young pastor to do the job (he realized his hearing was too bad for interacting well and his speech was not really clear--but God used him in-spite of all of this). He has been a great encouragement to all the residents and a fantastic testimony to all of us. His wife has alzheimer's and is in another place (which is actually better health wise for both of them--) He visits her each week and they both have grown in their love. She is fading fast in her mind---but their is a beauty in their love.

  12. What poignant stories ... both of them. Thank you for having the conviction to speak out on behalf of that elderly lady. It saddens me that some people can be so quick to dismiss their elders.

  13. Dearest Mary,
    Blessings to you this beautiful day!
    This is a heart tugging story that you have shared.
    God help us all,

  14. Hi Mary,
    I'm back! thank you for visiting me. To answer your question on the blue and white teapot,i checked and it doesn't have a name on it. I also have a red and white one-they were not expensive so I suspect they are made in China but it doesn't say that either.
    I have seen them in different little gift shops around here. Sorry I couldn't be more help

    Take care,


  15. I get upset when fast teenage drivers swerve around elderly drivers as they think they are so slow and causing delays. I always pray that the old ones do not get into accidents. There's a good reason why God said to "honor your father and mother" and I think it applies especially when they have gotten much older so we can give them the respect they deserve. Blessings.

  16. Parents need to be so mindful of how they are influencing their children. These stories are so sad. I wonder if the woman in the bathroom will remember how she treated the older lady when she reaches that point in life when someone has to wait for her.
    Thank you for sharing.

  17. This is a wonderful story with a tremendous message. I have heard it before but I needed to hear it again and also the story your told of your experience. Thanks for posting.

  18. Such a powerful message, thank you.

  19. Such a good message and thank you for the challenge to be patient with the elderly. This moved my heart.

  20. Hi Mary,
    I saw my Grandmother (at age 83) being abused by my Aunt (my Mother's brother's wife) and I managed to get her out of that situation and into a wonderful care facility. She lived another 5 years and had a quality of life she didn't have before. I thank God for His help in getting her out of that awful situation.
    Thank you for this beautiful post.


  21. Wonderful and touching story, Mary. You've given everyone lots to think about. Hubby always says, "What goes around, comes around!" I believe he is right. Thank you for sharing such inspirationals today. Have a lovely week.


  22. Hello darling,
    I am back and have missed you terribly!! I have a post on my blog that explains my lengthy absence but enough of that, I just wanted to stop by personally to thank you for the sweet birthday wish you left Cristina and to let you know that your kindness meant the world to us both. I am now off to read the posts that I have missed and to look around your gorgeous blog.
    Love & Hugs
    Duchess ♥♥♥