We have a senior family member who is now officially seeing his last days. It might be 10, it might be a thousand, but it is imminent. You can tell by talking to him that there is so much more he wants to share with his loved one's before he goes. It is a very bittersweet thing to be a part of as he does have a lot of knowledge to pass on.
He is self-made man, opinionated yet always learning, stubborn and sometimes full of himself. But underneath that gruff exterior is a loving, caring man who really does not want to waste what he has learned. He is the perfect example of someone who is hard to love from a distance, but easy to do when you get to know him. If he lets you.
I listen to him every chance I get. I ask questions if I don't know something. I have been doing this for years, but now this is taking on a whole new importance. Not only is he helping me, but he is also helping himself by fulfilling his want to “pass it on”. And in return, I am helping him by just being there for him when I can.
I wish I wasn't so busy with my own life so I could spend more time with the last of his, but he understands. He knows hard work just like I do. He knows the importance of providing for your family just like I do and he knows of the peace of mind acquired when you share with others the knowledge that you have that others want.
And really, what greater gift can you give a loved one in their dwindling days than peace of mind?