Tuesday, 25 December 2012

The Wooden Bowl

The Chinese staunchly observe the Qing Ming traditional customs to remember their loved ones who had passed away.
Autumn leaves fall and winter will come soon. Does that signify the change of seasons or end of life?

A frail old man went to live with his son,
daughter-in-law and four-year-old grandson.
The old man's hands trembled, 
his eyesight was blurred and his
step faltered.

The family ate together at the table. But the elderly
Grandfather’s shaky hands and failing sight made
eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor.
When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.

The son and daughter-in-law became irritated
with the mess. 'We must do something about
father,' said the son.
'I've had enough of his spilled milk,
noisy eating and food on the floor.'

So the husband and wife set a small table

in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone 
while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner.
Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two,
his food was served in a wooden bowl.

When the family glanced in Grandfather's
direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye
as he sat alone. Still, the only words the
couple had for him were sharp admonitions
when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

The four-year-old watched it all in silence.

One evening before supper, the father noticed

his son playing with wood scraps on the floor.
He asked the child sweetly, 'What are you making?'

Just as sweetly, the boy responded, 'Oh, I am making
a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in
when I grow up. 

'The four-year-old smiled and went back to work...

The words so struck the parents so that they were
speechless. Then tears started to stream down their
cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew
what must be done..

Confucius had always stressed the practice of filial piety to his disciples.
The late Mother Theresa had been a fine crusader to care for the poor, aged and the handicapped. She is deemed a saint to the Catholics.

                  This is the finest portrait of Jesus Christ I have ever seen.
His Venerable Master Hsing Yun, the Abbot founder of Fo Guang Shan Temple of KaoShiong, Taiwan, is a very respected devoted Buddhist monk. He paid few visits to his mother in  mainland China before her demise. He had always preached about the importance of filial piety.

That evening the husband took Grandfather's hand
and gently led him back to the family table.
For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with
the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor
wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped,
milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

It's a grave mistake to send Dad away to sit alone at a corner for his meal intake.
 I pray to wish that Grandpa will see me through university before he goes. He has the money!

On a positive note, I've learned that, no matter
what happens, how bad it seems today,
life does go on and it will be better tomorrow.
If the father had been a hero to the child, how could anyone with right mind send the senior one to be seated elsewhere from the meal table? The daughter-in-law who played a part in coaxing should be rebuked too. Heaven forbids!

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person
by the way he/she handles four things :
a rainy day, the elderly, lost luggage
and tangled Christmas tree lights.

I've learned that making a 'living'
is not the same thing as making a 'life...'

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.
I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.
I've learned that every day, you should reach out and touch someone.

People love that human touch -- holding hands,

a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
I've learned that you should pass this on 
to everyone you care about. 
I just did.


            This candle was lit on the 
        15th of September 1998

    Someone who loves you has helped
keep it alive by sending it to you.

Don't let The Candle of Love,
Hope and Friendship die

Pass It On To All Of Your Friends
and Everyone You Love! 

                                        Let the eternal flame burn forever.

   Alan CY Kok

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