Value them now …
The doorbell rang at 11 pm last night – not a normal time for people to be visiting. When the chowkidar (watchman) went to the gate to find out who it was, he came face-to-face with one of our older neighbours. On enquiring if there was a problem, the old man stretched out a hand and gave him a tube of eye ointment and asked the chowkidar if he could help him put the ointment in his eyes.
Not in itself a very strange occurrence you might think. However, as the chowkidar complied, the old man apologised for bothering him and said that he had been standing on the road outside his house for about an hour hoping someone would pass by who could assist him with this task, but no-one had and it was only then that he had resorted to ringing our doorbell. How sad is that 😦 !
The strange thing about all this is that the gentlemen lives with his children and grandchildren and there is always someone in the house. What I cannot understand is that they don’t appear to be in the least concerned about him. They all have their own lives and interests and treat him as if he is a burden and a nuisance to have around. He is of often seen walking around on the street talking to whoever will give him the time of day, or will listen to one of his stories. I guess they think that they are doing a favour by allowing him to live with them.
These are educated people with responsible jobs. What excuse could they possibly have for treating their own father/grandfather is such a shameful manner? Do a lot of people indulge in the same kind of behaviour?
I think of my parents and the love and caring that we have instinctively given them and the responsibility that we have felt for their welfare and their happiness – not because we have to, but because our hearts wouldn’t let us do otherwise. This pales in comparison with the love and support that they have given us all their lives – not that one is looking at it as payback at all. However, we can’t help but acknowledge that they have made us who we are. They have nurtured us and cared for us. They have brought us joy and protected us from harm. They have advised us and guided us through all sorts of hurdles and challenges during our growing-up years.
I see friends around me who also realize this and who continue to love and care for their parents in their twilight years. And yet there are so many others who are like my neighbour’s family who think of their parents or older family members as a burden rather than the blessing that they truly are. I hope they don’t wake up one day to find that it is too late for regret.
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