Their fix? They placed a card table and chair in a corner of the dining room and that was where the old man had to eat. He just sat there where, if he spilled or dropped, at least it did not ruin the family dinner.
Her husband had made him a big bowl out of wood and all his food was served in that bowl.
One day, the father found his little boy hard at work in his workshop. The child was almost frantically trying to fit pieces of left over wood together, pieces left over from the big wooden bowl he had made for Grandpa. He asked his son what he was trying to do, the child said, “I am trying to make wooden bowls for you and mommy when you get old and make a mess at my dinner table.”
Wow! I just stared at those innocent words and felt tears fall down my face. You see, my husband Gene is almost 87 and I am 80 and we drop stuff. We spill and veggies roll off our forks too. But, so far, we live independently in our own condo and when we mess up or forget something or roam around half the night because we can’t sleep, well, it is no big deal because, so far, we can and do clean up after ourselves and have learned to be quiet so the other can sleep if we have the “night wanders.”
But, one of these days, the health and fitness of one of us will fail and we will no longer be so independent. We will have to face the reality of accepting help from a facility or from our grown kids and that is the crux of this column. Who knows what will happen? I have two grown children with families of their own who all live near us in Colorado. They are primarily why we moved here. Every problem we have had after moving here, one or more of the kids have stepped in to help us. When I bring up the fact that we feel like we are a burden and we take up too much of their time, their answer is always the same. The answer is that they love us and want us in their lives. In fact, they often tell us that giving their kids the chance to be with us is a gift to them.
Somehow, I really do not believe anyone is presently making us little wooden bowls. I also don’t think any of them would abandon us if we had to have “in patient” care in some facility. Actually, what we have is what is called “Every Parent’s Ultimate Blessing.” And, by the way, the email story ends when, after the dad finds his little boy trying to make the bowls for later, they brought the old man back to their dinner table and included him. It took a child, once again, to show them the way. The clarity with which a child sees the world is perhaps the truest way we all should view it. I think about stuff like that a lot now.
The view from the mountain is wondrous.