The Wooden Bowl:

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Posted by TerryS ( on April 30, 2001 at 23:18:25:

> A frail old man went to live with
> his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year 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 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,
> sometime he had a tear in his eye as
> he sat alone. Still, the only
> words the couplehad 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 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. On a positive note, I've
> learned that, no matter what
> happens how bad it seems today, life does go on, and
> it will be better tomorrow. I've learned that you can tell a lot about
> a person by the way he/she
> handles three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and
> tangled Christmas tree lights.
> I've learned that, regardless of your relationship with your
> parents, you'll miss them when they're gone
> from your life. I've learned that making a "living"
> is not the same thing as making a "life." I've learned that life
> sometimes gives you a second chance. I've learned that you shouldn't go
> through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able
> to
> throw something back. I've learned that if you pursue
> happiness, it will elude you. But, if you focus on your family, your
> friends, the needs of others, your work and doing the very best you can,
> happiness will find you. I've learned that whenever I decide
> something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.
> I've learned that even when I have
> pains, I don't have to be one. I've learned that every day, you
> should reach out and touch someone. People love that human touch -
> holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I've
> learned that I still have a lot
> to learn. I've learned that you should pass this on to everyone you
> care about.
> I just did. Sometimes they just need a little something to make them
> smile.
> People will forget what you said ...people will forget what you did...
> but people will never forget how you made them feel.

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