Today I was thinking about all the senior citizens who had an impact on my kids when they were growing up. There were many. We lived in a neighborhood of senior citizens, so they all adopted my kids as their grand kids. That was wonderful since my parents lived in Nevada, and Danny's parents lived in Idaho. My kids loved their own grandparents, but it was nice to have California grandparents too. We also go to church in an LDS ward or congregation that has traditionally been made up of mostly senior citizens.
The couple I was thinking about today were the Ellsworths. Meriem and Heber were the sweetest couple! Heber must have been about 6' 6" or taller, and Meriem stood maybe 4' 8" on tiptoes! For several years, there were not many children in our ward. Our main worship meeting, Sacrament Meeting, was on the three-hour church block. Our kids used to dart out the side door of the church as soon as the "amen" was said on closing prayer, so they could be outside to watch Brother and Sister Ellsworth come out that door holding hands. My kids thought it was the sweetest thing that this old couple still held hands. The Ellsworths never knew that my kids were watching them.
Heber wasn't very well, and one Sunday in Sacrament Meeting he just sort of tipped over in the pew and passed out. The problem was, that he tipped over on top of Meriem! I thought he was going to completely crush little Meriem! Paramedics were called, and Heber recovered to see another Sunday.
Eventually, both Heber and Meriem passed away. I remember at Meriem's funeral a story was told about them. Every night of their marriage until Heber was just too frail to do it, he picked Meriem up and carried her up the stairs to bed. Now that's love!
My kids had some really fine role models, that's for sure. It makes me wonder what kind of role model I'm making for my grandchildren and other children who unknowingly watch everything I do and listen to every word I say. I used to tell my kids that when they walked out the front door they represented themselves, their family, their ancestors, Camp Fire Boys and Girls, their school, their athletic teams, their ward, the church, and the Saviour. As I grow older, I think I need to remind myself of that when I walk out the door. I never know who may be watching.