05 October 2006

An ode to the senior generation

I just read a post over at Hip Hop Grandmom's and I so wanted to write off a post immediately.
I have interacted closely with "old" people, who were my family members mainly. I guess I was lucky because many were very strong mentally and very 'all there'. I just want to share a few lines about each of them.
There was my maternal grandfather, (my paternal grandfather died before I was born). He died at the age of 97. He was such an interesting personality. He had been an engineer and a planter. He retired from service maybe when he was 60. His wife died maybe a few years later. so he was a widower for around 30 years. But he was such fun to talk to for all us grandchildren, always interested in the world around him and a very tolerant man. Even now I remember him so often and feel it was such a pity my children couldn't get to know him--he died 27 years ago when they were still small.
Then there was my paternal grandmother. What a woman! She too became a widow quite early. Besides she had to see the death of 3 of her children. Her elder daughter died when she was 38, leaving behind 7 children and my grandmother brought up the two youngest, 2 little girls 18 months and 6 months old then. Later, she came to stay with us very reluctantly, when it was impossible to manage on her own. She too was interested in the world around her. I remember her avidly reading the Reader's Digest, an occasional Time magazine and the newspaper and wanting us to show her in the Atlas where each new place she read about was located and this almost upto the time she died at 90.
Then I have to add my mother. She is now 89. My father died in May this year and she keeps going as best as she can. She is busy doing sudoko, or playing chess on the computer and has recently taken to blogging. Her spirit just thrills my heart.
Well there are too many I see, when it comes to remembering. But I just want to tell anyone who reads this, that it's in the eyes. Look at the eyes of an old person. They always reveal the person's inner mind, even when they seem helpless and can't seem to remember which day of the week it is. I hate to see and old person treated like a small baby. It's true that their body controls may have become like that, but inside their minds they are not like that as the poem at Hip Hop Grandmom's said. The next time you see an old lady--or old man--being treated like a recalcitrant child, just look into their eyes.
Bless you all these older people that I did not even mention who have obviously added to my life in more ways than even I thought.

2 comments:

Dotm said...

I agree with you about seeing their feeling in their eyes. Their eyes show sadness, they seem to sparkle when they are happy, you can pick up when they are questioning what you said or when they don`t understand what you are talking about. Their eyes are a mirror to their mind if we just take the time to read them.
I also found that you can tell a lot from the expressions on the face of an adult in a coma. I learned they can hear everything you are saying, they just can`t reply with words, but they do reply in other ways. I saw it over and over.

Hip Grandma said...

Thanx for sharing.I have an aunt who is as mild as a lamb but is being treated like a piece of unwanted luggage.Once I go to India in a fortnight's time I am going to insist that she comes and spends some time with me.i had said that before but gave in to her son's argument that Jamshedpur is too far and he would not be able to come and fetch her if she fell ill.I've decided that I am not listening to him anymore.