**The following contains Smockity opinions.
Today the kids and I met with some other members of our homeschool group to sing Christmas carols at a local nursing home.
I was choking back tears most of the time, so I didn't actually do very much singing. Why the tears?
Because first of all, children singing, for some reason have always made me teary eyed. Even before I had my own children, that little ring tailed tooter in my third grade class who had regularly scheduled meetings with the principal to discuss "behavior modification plans" would melt my heart during the singing portion of the PTA program.
Add to that, children singing the words to Away In A Manger.
Then, multiply that emotion by 15 when you toss in wrinkly 96 year old faces, smiling and waving from their beds and wheelchairs, and I am pretty much a big ol' bawl baby.
When I looked at those frail gray haired ladies and gentlemen and then back again at my own children, I thought about how those adults were once just like my children. They most likely sang and laughed and skipped and had nary a thought of what life would be like in a nursing home.
I wondered if they had grown up and cared for their own children years ago, wiping their messy faces and changing their diapers and cooling their feverish brows during sickness.
Where were those children now? These aging and dying adults need someone to wipe their messes and prepare their food and care for their needs. They rely on paid help to do these things.
I saw a sign above one lady's bed written in red marker. "Make sure her feet are elevated after turning."
There is apparently no one who knows her or loves her well enough to care for her and remember that her feet need special treatment, so a sign must be placed there to remind her caretakers.
It made me sad to think of those that were once vibrant and lively, now forgotten and dependent on employees to carry out their paid tasks.
I thought of how I had researched Ralph Moody, author of the Little Britches series, to find out more about his life. I read that when the end of his days approached, he moved in with his baby sister, Elizabeth, (born in the second book) who cared for him until his death.
That is how it should be, I think. Family caring for one another until the end.
I know there are rare exceptions, folks with no living relatives or relatives who are physically unable to give care, but I think for the most part there is an ugly trend to dispose of our elderly in institutions where we can forget about their needs.
This ought not be the case for Christians.
I imagine it would be a difficult trial to provide daily care for an elderly relative, but I don't think difficulty is a valid reason for shirking responsibility.
"But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." I Timothy 5:8