Kindness Does Not FadeAuthor: Byron Pulsifer, © 2012
It is always a concern that a parent is looked after properly. This is especially true as they grow older and live on their own. For a lot of us, we have crossed the threshold of age ourselves, as we are probably part of the baby-boomers so prevalent in our global societies. There are very few nations not affected by the baby-boom phenomenon where elderly people now outrank the young.
I personally experienced the turmoil and heavy emotions that came with the growing difficulties of my own father heightened when he was no longer able to live in his own apartment after the death of my mother. I was not the only family member involved in attempting to persuade him to move into a residential senior home and each one of my siblings played an active role in this persuasion. The other challenge was to allow us to sell his car so he could no longer drive - his driving had deteriorated with the onset of dementia. This was very difficult because he had been driving as part of his living for many decades.
In this situation, the only way we, as a family, could handle this emotionally challenging times was to be united in our caring and loving concern. We set aside any of our wants or wishes so that we could find Dad the best place to meet his needs now and for the future. The final process unfolded without too much difficulty but unfortunately his time at this senior residence was short lived because of the rapid onset of Alzheimer's disease.
Kindness Must Prevail
But, this new challenge was handled with the same kindness and concern as before. And, while it was heart wrenching to have to commit our father to a secure environment, it was the best we could do in the circumstances. As our father had been kind and loving to us all over his many years, it was only fitting that we repaid the same kindness and more.
Happiness of Major Importance
My father died several years ago now and I thought that I would be saved from going through all of this emotional upheaval again for many years. But, as life continues to evolve, we cannot avoid the inevitable as much as we would like to. The next challenge that arose was not as severe but I believe this to be the case because my wife and I were more attuned to developing issues. These issues of care and concern now involved her mother, who, although living alone, was for the most part able to function well enough. But, there were signs that all was not well and thus the concern for her future safety and happiness became of paramount concern.
Kindness doesn't end - it is an ever-evolving form of love that extends well beyond one's own personal life. If the case of my wife's mother, progress is being made where she is actively involved in her future and very much aware of our concern for her happiness, safety and well-being. The acts of concern go well beyond kindness but this does not mean that a level of understanding and patience with all those much-needed answers to questions is not show kindness. Kindness is a necessary commodity for all positive relationships.
Speak With Your Heart
We all need kindness in our lives and not just a simple hello or an invitation to a party. The kind of kindness I speak about comes from the heart with the understanding that what you give you get back twofold. Kindness is not something that you engage in from time to time like one would go to the movies from time to time. It is more a commitment to the higher ideals of life itself that says we really care for others no matter where or when.
Do Not Take Kindness For Granted
We all need to experience kindness in our own lives as well. And, this kindness simply means that we need to be appreciated at times even though we may expect it each and every time we do something for someone else or do a good deed. It doesn't mean, though, that anyone does not require a simple recognition or a little thank you. We respond to kindness shown to us the same way that we expect others to at least acknowledge that we care. The most difficult situations occur when our assistance goes either unnoticed for a period of time, or is completely taken for granted.
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust and hostility to evaporate."
In life you can never be too kind or too fair; everyone you meet is carrying a heavy load. When you go through your day expressing kindness and courtesy to all you meet, you leave behind a feeling of warmth and good cheer, and you help alleviate the burdens everyone is struggling with."
He that planteth a tree is a servant of God, he provideth a kindness for many generations, and faces that he hath not seen shall bless him.”
Henry van Dyke
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