Saturday, October 03, 2009

Gaze into the Preciousness

Need I say more?

Would you love to sit with this sweet gent and here his life story? How can you celebrate the elders in your life? What can you do to honor them? Here, I celebrate Betty.

Just the other day, while sitting on the cliff overlooking Laguna Beach two older daughters brought their elderly parents to sit down and rest while they took a beach walk. I patted the seat next to me and invited them to sit while I told the daughters (I am presuming in their 40's), "Don't worry, I'll take care of them."

While sitting there I engaged in a bit of a conversation - or tried to - with both of them. I sensed they were Persian and knew that they'd have some wonderful story to tell. It was only the gentlemen that had enough English to chat. I had so many questions one being, "What do you think of the present leader of Iran?" With great sadness he shared and said Iran will be better when he is gone of which I asked how would that happen? I asked what he thought about the previous Shah of Iran and learned that this gentlemen was in prison during that shah's dictatorship rule. Interesting, though, was this gentlemen said he changed his mind now about that Shah saying he wasn't so bad - at least was progressive for Iran.

When the daughters came back I told them how much history their father has and asked them if they'd ever sat him down and wrote down his story and that of their mother. Nope, they'd not. I strongly encouraged them to do so and shared how I'd done that with my grandfather and that do so is so honoring of the elders in our life. I told them that I'd learned things about my grandfather that I'd never had known nor would it be passed on as part of our legacy had I not spent that precious time doing so.

Not too sure I'd convinced them, I repeated myself saying that it would give their parents great honor to do so. This precious Iranian man was understanding what I was saying at this point and something must have warmed his heart at my words because as I in honor kissed them and they me good bye - this elder man gently grabbed my head, kissed my forehead and called me his daughter. I'm still gazing into preciousness with that moment.

Don't neglect the littles or the elders in your presence. You don't know how much time they or you have left. Engage into their life space - putting your own aside. Get to know them - whether it be your little children or your parents or your grandparents. Get to know the stranger (cultural appropriateness, I understand) by listening and asking questions about their life and their thoughts.

I become a better woman because I seek to do that in those spaces and places that God puts me.

Go, love on an elder today and go love on a child today. If you neglect those faces in front of you the one you're really neglecting is yourself. For more beautiful ideas, visit Melissa's The Inspired Room.

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Jennifer said...

Went and had lunch with my Grandpa (91) this week and took my 16mo old niece along. She was the hit of the retirement home. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the smiles on everyone's faces in the dining hall as she interacting with them. My Grandpa is so sweet. He was holding back tears as he thanked me for having lunch with him. I need to go there more often.

Anonymous said...

Well done Peggy

lynnmosher said...

Oh, Lylah, this was so lovely. It brought tears to these tired ol' eyes. All the elders in my life are gone except for my aunt and my husband's mother. We were about to write down things from my mom's life when she died 20 months ago. Thank you for being so loving and caring. This was very touching and beautiful. Bless you!

Rose Belle said...

Hi. My only living grandparent is now in a nursing home. I was so sad to watch her laying in bed, almost lifeless. She can no longer walk or eat. My only regret is not spending time with her then. I would have loved to hear about her childhood memories and how she and grandpa met.

The Crazy Suburban Mom said...

I agree with you. So much and do try to do this... Sometimes I dont think people fade away as much as get tired of living unheard and just retreat

Lylah Ledner said...

Oh, sweet ladies...your comments are straight from His love you said Suburban mom....who get tired, perhaps because no one cares enough to listen....I'm convicted at new levels by that thought.


Summer said...

What a great reminder to all of us! Thanks for the story!