Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday's with Dr. Roffman

Each Saturday, Joel Roffman, MD, a prominent Dallas cardiologist and author will share meaningful experiences he has had with patients who are dealing with a variety of physical and emotional issues. You will find the manner in which they deal with life’s problems to be practical, inspirational and uplifting.

A Parent’s Love

I commonly have patients in the office tell me that they have been asked to help their grown children – either by caring for their grandchildren while the parents work or, in more dire circumstances, by taking the child (and grandchildren) into their home, usually because of financial difficulties.

The attitudes of these parents and grandparents run the gamut – some are more than willing to help, while others are resentful. Certainly, such an added responsibility late in life creates a usually unexpected burden.

Last week a patient of mine told me of just such a request by her daughter. The circumstances regarding this situation are irrelevant. What struck me was the good nature this patient had – a combination of love, responsibility, charity and gratitude that she was in a position where she could help her child.

The Talmud teaches that when a parent shows love to a child, the child then allows that love to flow through them, right on to their own children, as water flows through a vessel. And when a child shows love and respect to a parent, that supply of love is replenished by the child’s own children.

There is a blessing that is told in the form of a story. A sage sees kindness shown by a child to an elderly parent. “With what shall I bless you,” says the sage. “With learning? You are already very learned. With riches? You already have sufficient wealth. So here is my blessing. May it be God’s will that your children shall be just like you.”

May the love we show our children flow through them to their own children, and in turn, may their own children replenish the love our children show us.

If you have a comment or question about this blog entry, email Dr. Roffman at

Dr. Joel Roffman has spoken to many church, synagogue and support groups. His book, Coping with Adversity: Judaism’s response to illness and other life struggles is enjoyable, uplifting and informative. It is meant for people of all faiths and can be viewed at It is available at Barnes and Noble, Borders, and


Bill Witcher said...

This is very appropriate right now with people losing their jobs, their homes and their hope. A loving family is a blessing that is always needed. THank you for sharing.


Anonymous said...

Lovely, thoughtful post!