Charles, Oren’s granddad, has been staying with us. He goes at his own pace, which judging by the the local iCrowd buzzing around him is very slow. His lucid thoughts come and go, his memories are locked on WWII stories and he sleeps a lot. His world has become small and simple.
Today I was left in charge of him. I had to make sure he took his meds, he was showered and he was dressed to go the temple. This was a bit scarey as the last time I had to tend to someone in this way was when Oren was in 2nd grade.
Charles is only 25 years older than me. He makes me face my mortality everyday. Soon Oren will be helping me lace my shoes. And now that I’m nursing a herniated disk and can can barely tie my shoes, imagining this scenario is not too hard.
I buttoned his shirt, slipped the tie over his tumbled hair and made sure it was snug and proper around his collar. I helped him with his jacket and then got on my knees and tied his shoes. I felt slightly embarrassed being so intimate with this man, but the beauty of the moment struck me and it came from left field.
This man who served serving his family for an entire lifetime with nothing but grace and humor was due this tiny service a thousand times over and by providing it, I got plugged in the circle of life and felt a profound gratitude for the exchange.
If it is my dharma to give service this was a good day!