This morning, when I stopped over at Grandpa’s house with some groceries, Claire had already given him a shower. She was almost done helping him dress, when I saw him pat her arm appreciatively. It touched me deeply to see him express his gratefulness in such an endearing way.
I thought of how he had drifted out of our lives and how painful it was to feel like we could never really connect with him. He was always so busy. The scene unfolding before me, the capable granddaughter caring for the needy grandfather was truly a grace-filled moment.
It is so important to touch daily – to connect – to reach out to give and receive love.
Grandpa let me know a few months ago how much he appreciates the way Claire gives him a shower. She has the special touch he needs–a touch he never received as a child. I remember, when he was younger (the time I was growing up in his house), how he never liked to shampoo his hair. He would drench it with Vitalis. A few months ago, I heard mention of him wanting a bottle again, but I don’t think he’s going to need it. He loves having his scalp messaged and shampooed by Claire. I’m going to have her train me in the art of grooming Grandpa.
Claire’s sacrifice was two-fold this morning, though – taking care of Grandpa and letting her brother sleep in. Eric has been getting Grandpa up almost singlehandedly since January. She commented that it made her feel like a good sister to let him sleep while she got Grandpa up and going. Her selflessness is beautiful to me.
My children are giving their all to help with Grandpa and I know these sacrificial acts of love will be rewarded by Jesus himself who came to serve and not be served. Yes, because He first loved us, we can find the strength to love and serve the needy among us – prodigal Grandpas who have returned to the security of family.
I am in awe of my older children and what they are doing for their Grandpa. I don’t say that because they are my children. That alone would not be enough to equip them for the task. They belong to the Lord and he gives them the strength they need daily to minister to their Grandpa in his old age. This is a season of touching and being touched, by God and each other…
When I kissed Grandpa goodbye on his head, his hair was soft, fragrant and clean – full of the vitality that comes from being loved and taken care of in your old age.
I heard the verse below being quoted on the radio as I pulled away from Grandpa’s house. My breath caught in my throat…“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.” Matthew 25:34