Monday, March 16, 2009

THE SPLIT SHEET

A young mother died when her first child was born. Her husband brought up the child affectionately. Relatives and friends asked him to marry again but he refused and spent his lifetime solely for his son. The son grew up, received good education and was well-employed. He married a wealthy girl and the old man felt contended. A child was born to the couple and the grandfather showered his affection on the child and helped in bringing up and educating the child. Once he overheard the conversation of his son with his wife. They were planning to send the old man to a home for the aged. He was shocked to hear their plan. Pretending to be unaware of their intentions, he himself proposed to them the idea of shifting to the old people’s home for better rest and a meditative life. His son pretended to be reluctant but agreed as if to honour his father’s desire. His child was listening when his parents planned the expulsion of his grandfather.

The grandfather was getting ready for the departure. He was asked by his son whether he wanted anything special for the stay at the old age home. The old man asked for a woollen blanket for protection from the cold climate. His son told the young child to bring a blanket for the grandfather. He went to the bed room and returned with a packet after a long time. His father asked him why he made a delay in returning with the blanket. He replied that it took time to cut the blanket into two pieces. Surprised at the answer, he asked the child, “Why did you cut the blanket?” The child replied innocently, “I have preserved the other half. I will give it to you when I send you to the old age home when you become old!”

The child’s words opened the eyes of all. They embraced each other. They stayed happily together in their own home.

There are many who consider old relatives as nuisance and refuse to accommodate them at home. Their lifelong services and sacrifices are often forgotten. Many grand parents are ruthlessly dropped in old age homes.

The Bible issues strong commandments to respect and protect our parents.

“Respect your father and your mother, so that you may live a long time in the land that I am giving you” {Exodus 20: 12}. “Whoever curses his father or his mother is to be put to death” {Exodus 21:15}.

“God’s curse on anyone who dishonours his father or mother” {Deuteronomy 27:16}.

“Any one who makes fun of his father or despises his mother in her old age ought to be eaten by vultures or have his eyes picked out by wild ravens” {Proverbs 30: 17}.

“Honour your father with all your heart, and never forget how your mother suffered when you were born. Remember that you owe your life to them. How can you ever repay them for all they have done for you?” {Sirach 7: 27, 28}.

Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India.

This is story No.113 in this site. Please click ‘older posts’ at bottom of page to read previous stories.

1 comment:

dimlamp said...

Beautiful story, thanks for sharing it. I am a chaplain in a senior's home. I am often saddened when I see some of our residents so lonely and forgotten by their families.

God's blessings,
Dim Lamp
Dimlamp