Sunday, March 19, 2006

Wasting corner

There was once a man and because of this misdeeds while he was younger, he is now suffering for his foolish ways. He is sick now and has no one to take care of him. All his children have their own families and careers. His wife does not want to live with him. As a result, there is no one to look after him so his children put him in an old folk's home.

When my parents went to visit him yesterday, he had totally changed. From a vital man with a loud voice and a loud temper, he is now a sickly, thin and vulnerable person. All he ever does these days is to sleep, eat, sleep more and then eat more. There isn't anything for him to look forward to and there isn't anything for him to do everyday. He is like wasting his life away in a space confined for the neglects of the society. All the folks there are suffering the same fate as him.

I have always been bewildered at the fear of the old folks of having to stay into an old folk's home until now. To me, having a place to stay and having someone to take care of you when you are old and sickly is so much better than having no one. Imagine having to survive by yourself when you are old and defenceless, scared of everything and anything. Its so scary. What makes it even worse if none of your children want to take the responsibilies to take care of you, pushing and arguing about who should be the one to shoulder the burden of having to do that. The latter is enough to send me running to an old folk's home. That is, if I ever do get married and ever have any children.

So.. Having a place to live and having people to look after you in an old folk's home surely beats having going through all these. That is, until I realized what comes with living in an old folk's home. Its not only about the physical aspects but also about the mental and emotional strain. Everywhere one looks, there are death about, impeding death. Old and sickly people lying on their bed everyday, nowhere to look at, nothing to look forward to. Justs spending each day, one after the other, hoping for some hope.

Its ironic that the word 'home' conjures up liveliness, warmth, love and such and yet when you put the words "old folks" in front of it, the whole meaning of just got mutated. There is no hope, no love, no family, no hope. It should not even be called an old folk's home. It should be called a wasting corner. A corner hiden from the rest of the society meant for old people to waste away.

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