A wish, so simple, and yet, not always, a given, the wish of aging, dying without, any troubles here, translated…
As we age, we’d bumped into those whom we hadn’t seen in a long while in the waiting rooms of the hospitals, and after the hellos, and greetings, “I’m here for my cataracts”, “here for my teeth implants”, then, waving to one another, one going the left, the other, turned right, no need for the chit chats, besides, we may meet back up on another occasion soon.
In the physical therapy unit, right on time, those who knew one another sat next to each other, no surprises, a gentle and light, “hey, you’re here too!” You have the bone spurs on the cervical spinal column, I had a slipped disc on my lumbar vertebrates, we’re, on the same boat here. This sort of a serendipitous meeting, we must be connected, from over five hundred years ago I suppose.
Someone once set up the needs of the various ages in simple words: in the teens, we take in the intelligence, by the twenties, we look at the degrees, thirties, the abilities, forties, experiences, fifties, finance, sixties, agility, seventies, your medical records, eighties, the lunar calendars……………it’s easy for modern day people to live into the super elderly years, and by age eighty we still don’t need to read the lunar calendars yet, and yet, there were those who had yet to become elderly, but with the medical records stacked to sky high, and can collect all the records, into a volume of master thesis or doctoral dissertations, and, there wouldn’t be the doubts of plagiarism.
illustration from UDN.com
I’d gathered with my coworkers who’d been retired, because we’d not seen each other, it’d felt like a lifetime ago, I’d wanted to tell them of my troubles of my nerve endings feeling suppressed, Trees who sat opposite couldn’t wait to show me that scar on his scalp. He’d been going in and out of the hospitals for dialysis for sixteen years to date, the hospitals became a home away from home for him, yet, the bacteria got inside his brains, and he’d had an open skull surgery as an emergency operations, lay in the hospitals for a very long time, he’d, written ten, twenty articles on FB then, showed that the brains were opened up, then, sewn back together, to prove that he could still, think well.
Before I could feel surprised, Shih-Yi close by lifted up his shirt, showed us the scar on his belly. Told us, that one day as he was walking on the streets, he’d felt the sharp pains of daggers in his heart, then felt that something wasn’t right, immediately called up an ambulance, “I had the aortic dissection, the most dangerous kind”, the cardiologist told, that had I been a split second coming in, I would’ve been a goner for sure. They’d started describing what they’d gone through, of how they’d, almost, died, and it’d, shocked and thrilled us all, comparing, my problem turned out to be, no-big-deal.
One day, my friend came to visit me, she’d looked, lost, “he’d been bedridden for many a year, is gone now, and I’m, all alone.”, she’d sighed sorrowfully toward the air in the room. She’d taken care of her husband wholeheartedly, and now, she’d fulfilled her duties, and should be relieved, but instead, she’d, felt, loss. “the first to leave wins, I took care of him until he’d died, and who’s going to look after me when I fall ill?”, both her parents passed from cancer, she was high-risk for it too, and that’s why she’d felt, uneasy.
The machine’s been used for decades on end, even if we go for our regular tune-ups, there’s still no way of keeping it perfect, besides, it’s the flesh and bones we’re, talking about. Nobody can escape death, and death is like lights getting turned off, but, everybody seemed to be fearful of illness when they are to die, my friend’s seeing her husband being bedridden for long, and felt even deeper over this, growing older, falling ill, and then, dying, if we can skip past the ill part, then, wouldn’t that be, great. Looking back: in my twenties, I wanted to look pretty, by thirty, I’d felt, young, by forty, good if I am working in a government office, by fifty, money is good, sixty, leisure’s nice, by seventy, no illnesses, amazing! By eighty, it’s great to be alive……………this is, right ON! In the hundred years we would be given, it’s a dream, the wealth, the statuses, became, nothing meaningful, if we don’t get overcome with illness, if we don’t have any worries on the mind and the heart, that’s the life, of Gods.
And so, this is the understanding you’d come to, now that, you’re, elderly, you’re realized, that all that you’d been pursuing, isn’t as important as being health, and this is only a simple wish, and yet, not many of us get to have it, because we did NOT take care of our bodies when we were younger, thinking that, oh, I will age gracefully just the same, but we won’t, the taking care of our systems, needs to start when we were, young.