Friday, September 21, 2007

Loving Thy Neighbor

Today, I went over to my Grandfather-in-law's nursing home, right after work and brought him a huge container of angel hair pasta and meatballs, that I intended to get to him yesterday. He and I haven't always been close. We were building our relationship when it was strained by events that were uncontrollable, and I was left feeling hurt and like he couldn't stand me. The issues that caused the rift have resolved, but things were just never the same.
So we had a lesson about service about a month ago, and it talked about how one should perform service with a glad heart, and about the different forms of service that we can do for our brothers and sisters. I heard about him being in a nursing home until his health improves, and when my MIL said that he has no phone or t.v. in his room, and that he was feeling down and hadn't been eating. I just felt like there had to be something that I personally, could do. So I prayed on it. And I prayed on it. And then I came home from work, loaded my kids into the car and drove over to the home for a visit. My MIL was there, and was happy to see us, and I could tell that it lifted his spirits if only for a little while to see the boys.
We couldn't stay long because BB was up way past his bedtime so I left, but the next day I got up and pulled some hamburger out of the freezer and made meatballs and angel hair because I know he likes it, and he hasn't really been eating so I was hoping that he would like this enough to eat. I didn't get it over there yesterday like I had intended, but I brought it to work with me today and re-heated it and drove it over on the way home.
I couldn't stay because my husband had to go to school so I just dropped it off. But when I got there, he was just sitting in his chair with his head on the over-bed table and I knocked on the door, but it took him a second to notice me. He looked like tears fell from his face when he put his head up, like I had intruded on a very vulnerable moment, and the best I could do was pretend not to notice so he could keep his pride. I chatted with him for a quick minute about how I got the recipe from a cookbook that he and my MIL both have, (she gave me her copy) and that if he didn't care for them, it was the books fault. (haha.)
I have to admit that when I left there, I felt like I hadn't done enough and prayed to Heavenly Father to tell me what more I could do to lift his spirits in this tough time. I just felt really down because I could feel what he was feeling and was helpless. The best I could do was try to swing by, and bring over meatballs. So when I got home, I had my husband take TB and bring over the extra t.v. in our bedroom that we don't really get to use anymore because BB still sleeps in our room in his crib. The residents are allowed to have t.v.'s but the home doesn't provide them. I wanted him to have one in the room so that he's not trapped in it all day with nothing to do and no one to talk to all. day. long. When the boys got there, he was asleep so my husband set the t.v. up, wrote a note and put the remote on top of it so that he'll have a nice surprise when he wakes up tomorrow.
I got an email from my MIL thanking me for my simple act and told me that he actually ate some of it, (and said it was good) and telling me how much it meant to both of the. See, right now she's the sole person responsible for his care and is carrying the load alone. And I decided 2 days ago that I can take up some of the slack for her. So I will.
I don't tell you about all this to make myself look good, or for anyone to leave comments on this post about what a good daughter-in-law I am. I decided to share this because I wanted to impress how important it is to look in on the sick and elderly. To make time for them, and to take that time out of our busy lives to stick our head in the door and bring over "meatballs" so that they will know that they haven't been forgotten. Heavenly Father answers prayers through us! And if we don't do our part, and follow the promptings of the spirit, whether it be because we're afraid we'll be rejected or we're holding a grudge, we miss our on the blessings that come from doing those good deeds. We miss out on being the answer to someones prayer, and on seeing God's hand at work in another person's life, and we miss out on the blessings for ourselves that come from doing His work. I can go to bed tonight and sleep easier knowing that I've lifted someones day just a little bit, and it will make it easier to be kind and to "love my neighbor as I love myself", which is the 2nd of the "big two" commandments as Jesus answered the Lawyer who tried to test him. He said that everything hangs on these two laws...all the laws...hang on these two. I can see after today that it is true, and I hope that you all test it for yourselves.


isobeliot said...

What a good daughter in law you are :)

Heather said...

i can totally relate 2 this bc of my grandfather....u rem that from last yr right about this time of yr act! hopefully ur gfil will get better! :)