Understanding The Elderly


The Wooden Bowl

Patrick was a granddad who lived alone. Eventually he became too frail to look after himself. His hands used to tremble, his eyesight wasn’t very good and his walking was unsteady. After some thought his son and daughter-in-law reluctantly agreed to take him in to live with them alongside their four year old son, Timothy.
Each evening the family ate together at the table. However, Patrick’s shaky hands and failing sight made it a difficult experience for him. He was given a spoon instead of a fork and his meat was cut up for him beforehand. Even so, things like peas would often roll off his spoon onto the floor. When he tried to drink from his glass his shaking hands meant milk would be spilt on the floor. On occasions he even broke a plate or two.
Throughout this, four year old Timothy simply watched everything but said nothing.
The son and daughter in law gradually became more and more irritated as time went on. “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, after some planning, the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, each evening, Patrick would sit alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Further, in order to avoid any more breakages his food was now served in a wooden bowl that had been bought rather cheaply from a local market.
Timothy still watched and said nothing. When he glanced across at his granddad in the corner at meal times he would often notice a tear running down the old man’s cheek, especially when his Mum and Dad had harsh words because something had been spilt.
One evening before the meal the father noticed Timothy come in from the garden and put some scraps of wood on the floor. He then went to the kitchen and came back with a knife and fork. The Dad, being curious, asked him, “What are you doing Timothy?” Very lovingly the boy looked up and said, “Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mum to eat out of when I grow up.”
The four year old smiled at his Dad and went back to work.

Mum too had heard this and the parents stared, wide-eyed at each other. Not a word was said but the tears welling up in Mum’s eyes said it all. Without a word being spoken they reached an obvious agreement.
That evening they removed the table in the corner and took granddad back to the dining table to the family where he belonged. From that moment on not a word was said when something was spilt or broken. For some reason neither Mum nor Dad seemed to mind any more. For the remainder of his days he ate as a much loved part of the family. 


It is generally believed that you can tell a lot about a person by the way they manage a rainy day and the elderly.
Even though you have a pain you don’t have to be one.