Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Mama’s K.I.S.S. #68: Elderly Overnight

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As you know, if you’ve been reading, for quite some time, I’ve occasionally been running little installments called “Mama’s K.I.S.S.” I know that lots of readers could give many more and far more creative ideas than I can offer, but these installments are just a few tried and true and mostly old-fashioned ideas for putting service hearts in our kids.  This is number 67  of a list of one hundred ways we train our kids to serve. K.I.S.S. is an acronym for “Kids In Service Suggestions”.

Not everyone will be able to do this. You may not know this person or you may have too many younger kids to make it work. But I could not skip this one. It made a profound impact on our family. 

We knew another family who was caring for an aged father in their home. He was no longer able to live on his own because of dementia and other health issues. He had preached the gospel all of his life and he loved to be around people. He loved to sing and he loved to do magic tricks for kids and teens. 

So, on a couple of occasions, when his family, who cared for him, had an out-of-town emergency or just needed a break, he came over to our house for a day or two. I cannot even tell you how impactful this was on young teens. 

They learned patience. They listened to the same jokes and stories over and over. and they learned to laugh again and again. They taught their friends this. 

They learned illustrations that were powerful for the plan of salvation and teaching the lost. They had to learn them because they were presented so many times. 

They learned to spread the joy. They had friends over who sang and sang through the night, because that’s what this wonderful man loved the most. The music in my living room was some of the most beautiful I will hear in this lifetime, and young people were learning to be comfortable around elderly people who were on a different spectrum of thought. 

They learned to respect the hoary head. They watched us and heard us speaking about the many lives who had come to know Christ as a result of this man’s work. They saw, in a practical way, the honor that should be given to those who have sacrificed for the Cause, and, really, to all the elderly among us. They understood the value in keeping the elderly from institutions and caring for them in our homes when it is possible. 

The funniest part was when it got to be midnight, and then two a.m., and the kids were still singing and he was still having so much fun. I said “Okay, now. You have to take your night meds. It’s past time. ”

He replied “Oh no. I take those when I go to bed and I am not going to bed yet.”

The kids just learned a lot. Even if the “ask” is not there, I’d still make this happen if possible for kids growing up in a self-centered world. It’s a little investment for a big return. SO many lessons learned. 

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