I was taught to respect our elders. It's just how we were raised in my generation. In fact, I've always really liked being around seniors, because they represent such a wealth of knowledge, experience, wisdom and history.
I worked as a candy striper for four years in the skilled nursing care wing of a hospital, was a highly involved volunteer for the Senior Olympics, and generally just like spending time with my elders.
Despite irritation and discouragement from my observations of the lack of respect and consideration our elders receive, sometimes a brilliant ray of sunshine breaks through and renews hope. This time, it was in the form of two adorable little boys - ages 4 and 6.
The doorbell rang at my parents' house the other day. Mom was greeted by a young family who introduced themselves as neighbors from a few streets over. The parents, both school teachers, explained that they take their two sons by my folks' house nearly every day on the way to the swimming pool, and they often see Dad working in the yard. The little boys were so impressed with how dedicated he is to making the yard nice that they wanted to do something for him.
And so, little Finn and Jack each wrote Dad a note which was delivered along with a bag of delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies. Upon learning that Dad had just celebrated a birthday, the boys were even more excited.
Mom didn't mention that he just turned 99. I don't know if the kids could even fathom that. Mom didn't mention that he doesn't keep track of the fact that he's outside 25-plus times a day. The kids might like this, but they cannot fathom that it's because his dementia makes him forget how often he's out there.
But bless that family, the parents who instill great values in their children, and the big hearts of those two boys. If I ever get to meet them myself, hugs all around! THANK YOU.