Once again families are preparing to celebrate another Holiday Season. Gifts are bought and wrapped, the house is filled with the aroma of special foods, and kin are gathering. Somehow it all comes together like magic, as family members, young and old share this time once again. Throughout the day we may anticipate a call from those absent members who live a distance away or we might remember a member who is no longer with us.
However, I add the following for thought, because this happens much too often.
For families so blessed to still have senior parents or other relatives with them, I ask you to honor their presence. Many families have at least one elderly member who has lost touch with reality, perhaps a bit or perhaps a lot. And, as we age, hearing is not as acute as it once was and it is hard to understand numerous conversations at one time, especially when delivered at a rapid fire pace. I ask that at some time during the festive day, you take a minute to direct conversation to the elderly in your family, especially if they have become the silent member in the rocking chair.
Think about it, if you don’t hear well and don’t comprehend the conversation, the alternative is to just close your eyes and nod off. The fact that an elderly family member may not seem connected to stories or conversation does not give anyone permission to ignore that person. Everyone wants to be a part of things, including the senior members of the family.
Look around the gathering and give special notice to those elderly grandparents or other family members who do not seem as connected to the conversation as the younger members.
I believe it is called respect. Acknowledge their presence now rather then, perhaps, having to acknowledge their absence next holiday season.