Stories from our WebBoard
The Wooden Bowl
was sent to me by a friend who had no idea that right now we are having
to make some difficult decisions about the care of my mother. New or
old, I don't know, but it did touch me deeply. I feel like sharing.
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." So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner.
There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed
Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a
wooden bowl. When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction,
sometime 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
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 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.
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