Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Kindercare and Retirement Homes

This picture is of me with my Grandma Kirby- my mother's mother. She has been living with my mom and dad for about the last 15 years. She is a delight to my heart and to everyone who knows her. She contributes to the family in numerous ways and she enjoys the daily love and care of her family.

My wife's grandmother passed away yesterday after the long decline of alzheimer's. She was Stephanie's last living grandparent. Yesterday while I changed my son's diaper and enjoyed his young smile, I was struck by the fact that our lives begin and end in vulnerable need. Both children and elderly folks need a loving, helping hand.

What greater privilege do we have but to care for (or BE cared for by) our children and our parents as they need us (or as WE need THEM)? And yet on any city mainstreet in America you'll find dozens of "childcare centers" and "retirement communities." Are we really so busy (or so disconnected) that we find it easier to pay someone else to care for our immediate family so we don't have to mess with their needs?

In more "family-centric" cultures, this phenomenon doesn't exist- families stick together from beginning to end, making necessary adjustments to ensure that everyone's needs are met. I think our busy American culture has begun to bow down at the altar of wealth and affluence and has sacrificed one of the richest blessings any of us can enjoy- nearness and needs of our own family. Will you team up with me to help resist this modern trend? Let us live and love well, and enjoy the priceless treasure of a loving family!