The virtue of patience is one that I especially admire as I often find myself lacking it. I become impatient when I see people treating others despicably, unaware that we are all connected. Patience is a spiritual fruit that will not allow itself to be plucked prematurely. Once the virtue of patience is achieved however, it is a sweet fruit that continues to flourish.
If patience supersedes peace, then one must cultivate patience or relinquish notions of enjoying peace. -Donna Kay
A Short Story
A young man in his late twenties received a call late one December evening. He was informed that his grandfather had been picked up walking down the street in his robe, absent his shoes, smoking his pipe. The caller was a nurse from the hospital where the elder man had been brought. The nurse informed the younger man that his grandfather would need to stay overnight to be treated for the frostbite in his toes. The young man told the nurse he would be there in a few minutes.
The young man arrived to find his grandfather sitting up talking to the nurses. The elder man seemed not to recognize his grandson. This alarmed the grandson for he had breakfast with his grandfather 3-4 times every week. The young man asked the nurse if his grandfather had suffered a head injury. The nurse assured him that he had no head injury. The young man became upset insisting something had happened as his own grandfather did not recognize him. The nurse left and returned with the doctor.
The doctor spoke with the young man concerning his grandfather’s Alzheimer’s. The young man questioned the doctor insisting he had made a mistake; his grandfather couldn’t have Alzheimer’s, for he certainly would have known. The doctor spoke to the young man explaining there was no mistake, his grandfather did have Alzheimer’s, a type referred to as Sundowners. The doctor was very patient in telling the young man that his grandfather would continue to lose his cognitive faculties and now needed to be placed into a nursing facility of some sort. The young man informed the doctor that he would provide care for his grandfather.
True to his word the young man moved his grandfather in with him and took care of him. Time passed and the young man soon found himself unable to leave his grandfather alone. The young man quit his job and began working from home. He patiently cared for his grandfather (for five years) until his death. After the funeral a friend of his grandfathers thanked the young man for the loving care he gave to his friend of 60 years.
The young man began to cry. He stated he did not need thanks. The young man told his grandfather’s friend that he owed it to his grandfather. He had patiently taught him how to read despite his having dyslexia, taught him to talk despite his stuttering problem. The grandson explained that his grandfather worked with him seven days a week for 9 years until the he was caught up and in line with his grade level. The young man went on to say his grandfather did not ever speak to him harshly or impatiently, nor did he ever become frustrated with him.
When the young man graduated from high school his grandfather was there, when he graduated from college with all honors his grandfather was there. He had asked his grandfather if he ever imagined that he would attend hi college graduation. The young man smiled, and said his grandfather had stated he did indeed think he would watch him graduate from college. The young man protested wondering how he could know that he would graduate given his challenges. The grandfather had informed him that the reason it took nine years to teach the young boy to read well was that he had to teach himself to read first. The young man thanked his grandfather for his patience. The grandfather thanked his grandson for teaching him patience.
Moral of this story: When patience is employed it is simultaneously practiced and taught.