It is a strange relationship. My husband and I thought we would kindly befriend a lonely, grumpy old man. We saw a great opportunity to teach the kids benevolence. Our new friend would offer us many occasions to take him on outings, make him dinner, offer him friendship. However, things are not turning out like we imagined.
His name is Kha Kha. He says it is French for grandfather and that is what he insists we call him. Kha Kha spends his days alone. Alone as far as human companionship goes. He has an over fed dog and some thoroughly pruned flowers. The heart of Kha Kha seems to be giving. He gives flowers to his neighbors, phone calls to anyone who will answer and he stays on top of all of our birthdays and there are eleven of us in my family. It seems if he did not have someone to give to his very heart would stop. I find myself driving out of my way to cut flowers out of his yard for my table because it will give him delight. I could pick them out of my own yard, but then I would miss his bright smile upon receiving his gift.
This grandfatherly figure will sit for hours in front of infamercials looking for just the right gift for each of my kids on their birthdays. When he found out that we were going camping, he dug through his attic for all his old camping equipment, dusted it off and loaded us up. Cooking on his old burners made me imagine what he must have been like as a young father on outings with his boys.
We thought we would be the givers in this relationship, yet somehow we are the receivers. Kha Kha does not need more stuff and his health is too poor for him to enjoy very many outings, but the benevolence is still there. It is being available to receive his gifts with joy. In receiving his generosity we are actually giving him the courtesy of being useful. The compassion in this relationship is being eager to accept his presents. While trying to give, I have found my cup is over flowing. Well, I've got to go do a good deed and pick up some homemade chicken soup from Kha Kha. Good Bye for now.