Last week I was visiting my parents in Indiana. It keeps getting tougher for mom and dad. Dad had another stroke recently and my mom has been fairly sick. As a result they could not come to visit our family during my son’s graduation. The week after graduation I decided to load up the boys and go visit them.
On Friday afternoon most of the family had gone to town and I stayed behind to keep an eye on dad along with my son Dakota. Well, my son quickly fell asleep and I was drifting in and out of sleep when I noticed dad trying to get up. After a couple attempts he rose to his feet and pulled the blanket off of his chair. He proceeded to slowly walk across the room without his walker. He made his way toward Dakota with this blanket in hand. Then he stopped and spread the blanket out over my son.
I quickly closed my eyes so that he would not catch me watching. He then walked back over to his chair and sat down quietly. I don’t think he saw me watching any of the events that afternoon. He just wanted to make my son comfortable.
I leaned back in my chair with my eyes closed and thought about my father. Even at the age of 81 he is still teaching me about life. You can grow old and have a sense of entitlement that makes you selfish. You can grow old and get bitter about life. You can even grow old and sit back and let other people do everything. There is one other option though. You can grow old with kindness and grace. You can think of other people and try to make the world better, if only for a few minutes.