Normally on a Sunday I take my son over to see his grandmother, my wife’s mother. Following a stroke and concern that she was no longer able to take care of herself, we moved her into an assisted living program. We wanted to make sure she was moved to an area where she had family and since there is a Jewish facility up here (Kosher Food, Jewish Events, etc) we decided to move her by us.
She still fights being there and resents it but my son is great with his grandmother and she likes seeing him most chances she gets. Just about every Sunday, I take him over to see her and she is happy to see him, he makes her day.
As far as I am concerned, this is a real mitzvah, both literally and figuratively. Visiting the sick is an important mitzvah and one we learn directly from G-d as he visits Abraham, following the circumcision,. I do not know if someone in a nursing home is truly considered being a sick individual, but to my mind, it is one in the same.
In the more general term, and less accurate, viewing a Mitzvah as a good deed, certainly my son is engaging in that and this is a very important lesson for us to teach our youngsters. I hope that this is a lesson he passes on.
Today, my son did not feeling like going over to Grandma’s. Since we are there just about all the time, I was certainly willing to give him a pass. We did call and I made sure he spoke with her. She even said to me, as per her usual routine on those rare occasions when he does not want to visit, I should not force him. How she will view this later in the week, or how she will recall it, I do not know. Still, I appreciate all he does and how he usually goes over.