Category Archives: Aging Gracefully

A Family of, Four

A family of, unrelated by blood, “strangers” who help one another live their lives together, translated…

The woman, Chu who lives at the entrance of the street in her eighties, had been widowed for many a year, her children don’t live close by, she’d felt the troubles of living alone, and decided to find herself some, roommates, and she’d sent out the memo at the reading club, volunteer group, as well as the dance partners in the early mornings, hoping, to find some friends with whom she could connect with for the rest of, her, life.

After the little over three months’ search, communication, three other “sisters” moved in, they all had their own special talents, and were all, without their, significant, others.  The three paid a total of $15,000N.T. as the cost of utilities, and food, the four split up into partners, with each pair in charge of grocery shopping, cooking, every other week, with the extra amounts left, then, the money went into the slush fund for their, traveling plans.

like this, roommates who kept each other, company…

photo from online

And, just like that, these four elderly woman who aren’t related by blood, sharing same interests, lived their lives together fulfilled, the classes, the exhibitions, lectures, or workouts, and travels, they’d all gone to the functions, together, they’d gotten along extremely well for more than, three years since they’d moved in together.  Or maybe, they’d found their places of belonging in this, third life of theirs, they’d, lived in the understanding of what to expect from one another, with ease, each and every one of them looked, spirited, full of, energy, they all looked, younger, than their, physical, ages.

Every time someone inquired Chu how they got along so very well, more than the sisters?  She’d smiled and responded, that because everybody wanted to share a life together, so, they’d, let go of what they expected, with that mind of, tolerance, and helping each other grow older, that way, their can live well together, sharing the long life.

Her few words, reiterated the importance of learning to get along well with each other, something I’m, taking, from.

And so, these four, not-related by blood strangers, they’d eventually, become, families to, one another, and, they shared the commonality of losing their husbands, and they don’t calculate who spent how much on what, they do NOT nickel and dime what’s been put into their interactions, and what they got out of the interactions, they became, roommates, who are, actually, best of friends, companions, for life!

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Filed under Aging Gracefully, Family Dynamics, Interpersonal Relations, Old Age, Perspectives, Socialization

What We Need, in Order to, Age Gracefully

How this elderly man, INSISTED on staying independent, troubling his younger generations, as little as possible, and that, is how he chooses, to live out the rest of his old age!  Translated…

“I’d never seen an elderly, who’s so strong, and independent”, the caretaker said, in a heartfelt manner.  The elderly person she spoke of is ninety-three years old, originally physically healthy, but as he contracted MERS-CoV in June, he’d started, deteriorating; his wife died a long time ago, all of his children are in Taipei, but his son died a little over a decade ago.  Back then, his two grandchildren were still very young, his daughter-in-law, diagnosed with cancer, no time to grieve, he’d left the property in Taipei to his daughter-in-law and grandchildren, went home to Chiayi to live alone, and found work in a local temple, rode up north every month, to bring the $5,000N.T. he’d saved as he worked, and saved up on what he needed to give to his grandchildren, and he’d done that, for decades.

And yet, the elderly man’s daughter felt that he shouldn’t just give to his daughter-in-law and grandsons, thought he’d played, favorites, and only visited back home on the New Year’s and the holidays.  And, even as he didn’t have anybody to look after him, he’d not blamed anybody for it.  Several months back, he’d accidentally tripped and fallen, his daughter filed for the long-term care help, and the caretaker visited him twice a week to help with cleaning the home, and bathing him, but, as he was able, he’d, not wanted to impose, and, sometimes, when the caretaker came, she’d found that he was already, cleaned off, and took care of himself.

Not long ago, he’d contracted acute pneumonia, collected his own overnight pack, checked himself into the hospital, not told his daughter, or daughter-in-law, it wasn’t until the hospital notified the family, did his daughter learn, that he’d been, hospitalized.  And yet, because of work, and school, nobody went home to visit him, and he’d still, smiled on about it, he’d stayed for half a month that time, and was able to, go home.

Or maybe, in other people’s beliefs, this elderly man does NOT have a good old age, but he’d never felt any self-pity, and continued to live his days, as he is, supposed to, and, coped with whatever life, and fate throws at him.  In this aging world, with the populations of elderly living alone on the rise, illness, changes, loneliness, death…………can’t be, avoided.  I’d once read the article of the Taiwan Real Estate Company’s C.E.O. said: from settling into the elderly years, to aging happy, one needs three things: “The self, a means of make a living, and money saved”.  I think, the means to make a living including being independent, this is, the BEST state of mind, entering into our elderly years, that way we will, age healthy, happy, and, go on living, with dignity.

And so, you can see, how this elderly man, hated imposing, and that’s why, he’d done, everything by himself, and this can be hard on some, if they see that everybody her/his age is with the company of their younger generations, but this elderly man carried the attitude of staying independent, and it is his attitude, I think, that’s made him, so well-adapted to living on his own in his own, elderly, years.

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Filed under Aging Gracefully, Interactions Shared with the World, Interpersonal Relations, Life, Old Age, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life

My Elderly Roommate

An elderly woman who’d, moved in, into the opposite room of the writer’s, and, their, exchanges of day-to-day life, sharing that same space of living, translated…

Last week, there’s a new roommate who’d moved in opposite of my room.

It was an elderly woman in her eighties, as she’d gone from the homes of her three daughters, she’d finally decided, to move in with her favorite son up north.  My father matted up the floor, he’d told me, that the elderly would sleepwalk.

Before bedtime at night, I was called by my roommate to help her set her air-conditioning.

“Which button shall I press?”

The soft southern accent was like that tiger that’s climbed usually, from decades ago, to recently, continued to grow, with the gaps of the generations growing larger, larger, and larger.  I’d recalled how the elderly got the bruises on both her knees, and asked what she’d dreamed about.  She became embarrassed, told me, “I’d dreamed that I was in a fight with someone, I wanted to kick the person, but couldn’t, get to him.”  I’d wanted to laugh, but felt it was, improper, and asked her, did she have a dream last night.  “I’d dreamed about the president, taking my hand, telling me things, he was, very nice, and there were, many other people next to us.”

And I couldn’t, hold it back any longer, started, laughing.

Although my roommate is elderly, but she’s still, very, agile.  Can still ride her electric scooter to the marketplace to shop for her own groceries, used her wrinkled hands, to select the youngest, the most youthful bamboo shoots; she can also, take a few rounds of circling around locally, and, rushed home before sundown, just in time, for, supper; and she can, also, used her voice which time had, tracked across, to get her granddaughter to turn the channel to her favorite T.V. station, channel 29.

“This soap opera ran for so very long, Fei-Fei is, really, awful”.

Good on that, golden afternoon, as the years, slowly, passed by.

And so, this, is the leisurely life that this elderly woman was allowed, and, she must’ve done something really good as she was younger, to be, granted the blessings of her good health, her agility, for she’s still, able, to run around to the markets to buy the groceries she needed.

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Dying without Illness

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.

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Filed under Aging Gracefully, Life, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, the Finality of Life

Contributions to the World, Made by the Elderly Population

Making ourselves feel useful, even as we’d, stopped working in our jobs here, translated…

The Japanese man, Akasegawa mentioned the ideas of “elderly power”.  This is a sort of a reversal thinking, turning forgetfulness, nagging, repeating the behaviors of the elderly years, into the “powers of the elderly”.  “Elderly Ability”, on the inside flip it had, “normally people say that you’re old, that you’re, stupid, or that you can’t sit still, but the reality is: ahhhhhhh, the energies of an old man like me, had always been great, it’s been told like this, then, don’t’ know why, I’d, become, more active in aging, and I’d felt, that it is, a good, thing.”

There are the sightings of elderly energies all over Japan, when I’d traveled to Japan, there was an elderly worker who’d, left that deep impression with me.  It was during a February downpour, we’d arrived to Atami, to go see the camelias in bloom, the cold weather season, plus the downpour, it seemed, that the trip had, gone to, total, waste then.  The counter clerk at the hotel was an elderly woman, dressed in a kimono, she’d kneeled on the floor, squinted her eyes, smiled and told us, “In this cold a weather, I’m very grateful for all of you, our, honored guests to come here, today is, a good day, the plants in the courtyard had been quenched with the water, they’re all in a good mood, and, expecting to see all of you.”  Her words, helped lifted up the gloom of all of our, moods then, and, that trip, we went out in our umbrellas, and, looked at the beautiful camelias, the red ones, the white ones, each one is, quite, beautiful, there’s a species called “the crown”, with the red-bordered white petals around the red stamens of yellow, looked exactly like a crown, very noble-looking.  At supper, we’d met the lady who’d lightened up our moods earlier, she was eighty-three years old already, and told us, she was, glad to, still be, working, that helping the travelers feel happy, it made herself, happier.

There’s a shortage of caddies in the golf course in Chiba long-term, the elderly population who were retired during the time, had suffered cuts of their retirement funds, and are falling ill too.  The golf court started hiring the elderly folks to work as caddies, the eighteen holes of a game, split into nines, with the two elderly caddies servicing the golfers.  The elderly carrying the golf bags around, breathing in the fresh air, conversed with the customers, and making a paycheck too.  I’d gone to the particular golf course, and I became, deeply impressed of how the Japanese enterprises solved the shortages of staff members by hiring the elderly population to work, that it’s a resolve, for the welfare of the society at the same time.

There are, the elderly volunteer tour guides at the sights in Japan, they’d led the tours, told about the histories of the places, and their work ethics, made the visitors, truly loved, their hometowns.  As I’d gone to see the maple leaves, an eighty-year-old tour guide of the location, was showing signs of dementia, being forgetful.  As he’d finished up his tour with the group, he’d realized, that he’d, missed a tiny part, and insisted on leading the group to go on the tour, all over again, and it’d, added more wonderful memories of the trip for us.

There are those elderly populations here who are, giving in silent here in Taiwan.  The seventy-two-year-old Aunty Yang originally sold the fried crisp chicken pieces at the marketplaces, since her retirement, everything Wednesday, she’d prepared the items, and brought the foods to the tribal elementary schools to help with free meal plan for the children.  On the days that Mrs. Yang was in the school, the kitchen smelled aromatic, the teachers and students became more enthusiastic in teaching and learning.  Seeing how the students were enjoying her meals, Mrs. Yang was the happiest of them all.

contributions in the elderly years…

staying healthy through exercise…photo from onlne

The eighty-year-old professor Huang, had depression that he’d almost, committed suicide; and by chance, he’d found that a corner of the Da-An Forest Park in Taipei was filled up with the weeds and the fallen leaves all over that particular patch, and he’d brought along a broom, and the dustpan to clean up that lot, and became, best friends with the squirrels, and the wild birds in the park, and it’d given meaning to his life suddenly.

Being alone or feeling lonely means lacking that connection with other people, it would make us feel empty inside, that we aren’t needed, that we are, worthless.  Loneliness may increase the risks of many illnesses (including myocardial infarctions), there was the loneliness department set up in Great Britain, and the British government started sending the officials of the courts to work there.  A lot of elderly complained of loneliness, boredom, blamed their young for not staying with them.  Actually, the children had their own lives.  The elderly may be weak, may be forgetful, but, relying on the self is the best means, using one’s abilities as an elderly person to work, to volunteer, not only would you have the company that you needed, you can learn, and feel that sense of achievement.  Improving your own qualities of life, getting your health better, psychologically, and physically too.

and by giving back to the community…

like this…photo from online

And so, the key here is, continue to make your contributions to the world, like the cases the writer gave, the elderly in all of these cases all found their new purpose in life, because after we retired, the time became, free, and, with nothing to do, we can only, watch the days get torn off on that page-a-day, and the days will be slower than usual, because we can’t find a brand new purpose, because we got nothing else we are doing but staying at home.  The key here is to socialize, to get involved with the society all around us when we’re, elderly, to keep our minds, our bodies, healthy, even after the retirement.

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Filed under "Professional" Opinions, Aging Gracefully, Life, Old Age, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Retirement, Self-Images, Values

The Lonely Can’t be Disconnected, the Elderly in Their Empty Nest Need the Long-Term Show of Care & Concerns

The government, in setting up the programs of companionship, offering the assistance in elderly caretaking needs, off of the Front Page Sections, translated…

“Loneliness doesn’t necessarily means the negative”, the secretary of the Elderly Welfare Association, Chang believed, that sometimes, loneliness is, self-selected, but, there should be those who teaches the elderly how to live well on one’s own, to be safe, what worries her was that loneliness became, synonymous with disconnected with the external environment, there are, still a lot of the elderly population who’d been, disconnected who’d needed the attention.  The Eden Welfare Daycare Center’s Care Provision manager, Zhou said, a lot of the elderly in their empty nest stage of life are all, living alone on their own in their own homes, because of their personalities, that this group of elderly needed the community extension care provisions too.

Chang mentioned how the Japanese film, “death by no association”, the three disconnect of the elderly population: disconnection from the families, from the local communities, and from the interpersonal relations of the workforces, some of the elders originally didn’t want to live with their young, chosen actively, to disconnect with their families, she believes, that the elderly population can be independent, but the prerequisite of that is physical health intact, happy and independent living, the safety that comes with living alone, staying connected with the local communities, the government should help in setting up.  Toward those who don’t plan to marry, set for aging alone, these individuals should plan out their elderly years beforehand; and, if the offspring are all far away, the elders need to learn to care for themselves, to utilize the resources well, these are all, considerations for the friendly aging community to consider.

The head of social services, Chou stated, that toward the increasing numbers of empty nesters, the elderly living alone, the city government’s social services set up the network to offers the services to the elderly living along network, to offer the elderly to stay active after retirement, for instance, the courses offered at the elderly activities school that the retired can take up after they retire.

The Hsinbei City’s Golden age volunteer, and the elderly volunteer program, the former is aimed at passing the knowledges that the elderly gained in their lives to the younger generation, the latter, through the companionship of trained professionals, helping the elderly who live alone become more active, to help them exercise more, to shop for their needed groceries, and the accumulated hours of volunteer services is to be exchanged for the services the volunteer may need in the futures to come, and the hours can be donated to nonprofit needs, to help the elderly community help themselves grow older more gracefully.

And so, these are the programs that the government has, to help the aging community age more gracefully, and there’s, that need to continue to connect with our external environments, especially as we grow older, because this world is, getting into the super elderly, the extreme elderly ages, due to the advances in modern day medicine, this is something we all must, prepare ourselves for.

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The Years, Heavy, Like Lead

Facing the inevitable, the unavoidable, process of, where life will, lead: death…translated…

Four years ago, I took my mother’s hand, as we traveled, together.

I took my mother, walked across the wooden ladders of the Kaomei Wetlands as the sun was setting; the early evening breeze, gentle, the ocean, reflective like a mirror, and, the sunset colors, dyed the sights; my mother’s hunched back shadow, dragged out long and far off by the light of the setting sun as well.

With my mother’s hand in mine, I watched her as her white hair got blown in the wind, how focused she was, looking, into, the vastness of the world before her.

At the very moment, I’d, prayed to God, that this moment of bliss we share, can extend, eternally.

Three years ago I’d, taken my mother’s hand, all the way, across the stones, down the steps, and, trekked over that unsteady hang bridge, took us everything we had, and we’d, finally arrived, to the “Waterfalls of the Gods”.

I sat on that rock by my mother’s side, our feet, soaking in the coolness of the creek’s water, we’d started, talking of, everything and, nothing at all.  The waterfalls looked like satin before us, the beads from the splashes flew all over, with the sunlight reflecting out that rainbow; my mother started, smiling brightly in front of the waterfall, and, allowed me to take photos of her as I’d directed to pose for the camera, like a little girl would.

I looked up to the skies, and, prayed with all my might, that this beautiful moment can, extend, eternally.

This year, my mother’s back ached too awfully she couldn’t travel long, her legs had, lost their, stamina too, could no longer, lift her legs up to hike up the steps anymore, to find that beautiful mountain and creek we once found.  But I still took her, found a bridge that’s wide, and in the vastness of nature, took her to gaze on it, so she could, feel at ease, and it’d, brought back that smile that she’d lost from before!

I looked at my mother, growing shorter by the years, becoming older, and weaker, and more easily tired, I’d felt my heart, heavy.

In the rushing away of the times, I’d wanted to, keep some things intact, but, found that I can’t, keep anything; surely, I can, write so carefreely, that “life, aging, ill, death, it’s all part of the natural process of life, don’t matter your status quo, how you’d made your fortunes, in the end, it’s, just, this body that’s to, accompany you, nobody can escape the day; everything that’s gained in life, is a loss, nothing stays constant…………”

I’s just, that these words, served as comfort for others, I can’t, put into practice; my heart felt, heavy like lead, kept, sinking down in the years, to the point of losing control, I can’t, face it.

This is, coming face to face, with the fact, that we are, all going to die, dealing with the, unavoidable loss of death of one’s own loved ones, and, it isn’t easy, to lose someone we love that’s for sure, but it’s something, we all must learn to cope with, because, nothing in this world lasts, forever, save for maybe, plastic!

Lessons of life, in losing everything here…

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Visiting Great Grandma

The perfect example of how to age gracefully, translated…

“Great grandma lives too far away now!”, my son told.  My daughter great grandmother moved in with my aunt in Kaohsiung now, to the adults, it isn’t, that far away, but, to my daughter, who easily gets heat strokes, in a wheelchair, it’s nothing easy, going to Kaohsiung, where the sun shines constantly during the day, the temperatures, too high, and so, the winters became the only season we are able to, travel as a family.

At the start of the year, we’d taken the two kids to Kaohsiung to visit their great grandmother, and for a road trip too.  We’d first arrived at the pineapple factory, where the tour guide explained the process of manufacturing of pineapples, the history of the industry, then, we’d, headed to that old ironclad hang bridge, out of my expectation there were, the people standing on the bridge; standing on that old bridge, we watched the trains speed past, hearing the noises from all around, but, what entered into my ears, were the laughter of my own children.

As their ninety-nine-year-old great grandmother saw the great grandchildren, she’d smiled that long-time-no-see smile of hers, slowly got up, walked slowly next to my daughter’s wheelchair to a stool, sat herself down, and asked, “Wen-Wen, are you tired?”, she was still very gentle and kind as I’d, remembered that she’d been to me, in the past when I’d taken my daughter to physical therapy, great grandma would come out from her house opposite to where we used to live, to hold the umbrella to cover my daughter up, compared to how aloof their grandfather who lives with us had been, my great grandmother’s show of care and concerns to our family, I was, touched by, and, felt, ever the more, grateful for.

As I’d asked about my great grandmother’s life after she’d moved to Kaohsiung with my aunt and uncle, she could still eat her favorite, pork’s feet and the crabapples too, and, she’s, just as agile as the rest of us!  She’s probably, the healthiest, the most special elder I’d known, in her eighties, she would get up in the middle of the nights to watch the American Major Leagues games, in her nineties, she’d, walked herself out to buy the fried chickens she wanted to eat, and told the shop owner to not slice it to pieces, because she’d wanted to experience how the younger generations, grabbed the chickens, and started chewing them down……………

As we carried on in our conversations, the fatigue I’d felt from the trip, disappeared, little by little, as we’d, visited, my grandmother.

And so, this, is how you can, age, gracefully, like how this, elderly woman stayed active, by continue to socialize with her external environment, by having that optimism of life, by enjoying every day she has, like it was her final day on earth.

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Elders Whom Everybody Likes Being Close to

How these two elderly women are role models for us all, not just in their abilities to stay health, but on the positive attitude they take, toward growing older, and living, their lives, to the fullest…translated…

With the advancements of medicine, becoming an elderly person, is the future for us all, but, it’s a lesson, to learn how, to be, a cute elderly person.

There were two role models, of what elderly persons should be like.  Grandma Wang, I’d met through the volunteer program at school, at age seventy-six, she’s, graceful, and, dressed in a way, that’s, visually, appeasing.  After her move from her old home in Chiayi to Taipei, she’d gone to the local elementary school, to inquire if there’s a need for volunteer, and she’d started working, as a “story grandma”.

Some of the stories that Grandma Wang told the students are from the illustrated books, children’s books, and, some stories, were from her own travels, that she’d, changed the parts to.  With the lessons, Grandma Wang would bring her own homemade props, for instance, on the story of the Pygmalion, she’d started, playing the role of the female lead, handed the flowers one by one to the children, with the rise and falls of her voice, it’d, captured the children’s, attention.  Every time she’d walked down the streets, the children would greet her eagerly, “Grandma Wang!”

She also volunteers as the morning homework helper, four days a week, she’d, tutored two children who needed the extra help time.  Other than volunteering, she’s also, actively involved in the community choir too, doing yoga at the gym, to train her muscles, she’d managed to keep her body fit.

staying active in the elderly years…

查看來源圖片
photo from online

Another Grandma Lee, was an elder I’d met when I volunteered to the home visits, Grandma Lee was with a straight back, and you can’t see that she’s, already, ninety.  Her son lives out of country, her daughter lives in Kaohsiung, and often comes up north to visit her.  Grandma Lee had been volunteering at the hospital for thirty years on end, and recently, she’d, stepped down.  She’d gone to the parks early in the morn every day for tai-chi, and had brunches with her fellow martial artists, and, once a week, she’d gone to volunteer at the local borough’s office, and would arrange her time once a year, to go to the hospitals or the nursing homes with the Tai-Chi instructor to teach everybody some simple moves the residents can do to keep up with their physical wellbeing.

And, these two beautiful elderly women had a couple of things in common: first, they’re very physically healthy, with the regular routines for their workouts.  Secondly, both are involved in volunteer work, the embodiments of happy in helping others.  Thirdly, they’re, actively, interactive with their external social environments, not fallen off the connections with society.  I want to take after them, to become, a warm, an elder whom everybody wants to be close to.

And so, these two elderly women are, amazing role models indeed, they are very active, they kept up with their health, exercised regularly, and, found the time, to give back to the community, which is what probably helped them stay youthful, and they’re, role models for all of us indeed!

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Filed under Aging Gracefully, Expectations, Interpersonal Relations, Life, Old Age, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Socialization

A Lovable Elderly Person

An elderly who refused to get beaten by old age, staying independent, and optimistic through life, an example for all of us, younger generations, translated…

Grandma Wang is 106 this year, she is my mother’s best fri4end, watched me from when I was a toddler, to becoming, a grandmother myself, after my mother passed, every once in a while, I’d, gone to visit her.  The neighbors who grew up with me from way back would also, go visit her as well, to comfort her, who didn’t have any children.

At first, I think we were visiting Grandma Wang because of transference.  Because our own mothers passed, and we don’t have any sense of belonging any more, and Grandma Wang was my mother’s, best friend, and being around her, it’d made me feel like I was with my mother again.

But, why would I, get motivated, comfortably, without any pressures, to go visit with her?  Or maybe, it was, the lack of the pressures, that sense of gratitude, catching on with the times, that’s, made her, very amicable.

She’d not, pressured us to go visit her more, and, not thought of, how long ago was it since we’d, last come, nor would she just, sit at home, and wait for us to visit; as we’d, visited, and when we are going off, she’d not let me feel guilty about not spending enough time with her.  And, no matter if we’d brought her clothing, daily necessities, or run the errands for her from time to time, she’d, taken our acts graciously, and, thanked us verbally repeatedly.

And, even though, in my minds, she wasn’t, lucky enough, because her husband died young, she didn’t have any children, and can only live off of the government’s low income sustenance, but she’d always told, of how blessed she was.

Or maybe she’d known, that she couldn’t rely on anyone, it’d, helped her become, the more, independent.

She has failing sight, couldn’t watch T.V. or read the books or the papers, and so, she’d, listened to the radio, no matter if it’s the topics on politics, finance, or social matters, she could carry on in conversation with us.  She can’t stand too long, couldn’t go out for strolls, and she’d, used the tables and chairs to steady herself, and, exercised inside her house, or did the exercises with her arms, and she’d, told us, to move around more if we want to live well.  Everything she could do on her own, she’d not requested anybody to help her, and she’d always, found things to do on her own too, that it helped her pass the time.  Sometimes, as I’d gone to visit, she was, chopping up the fillings of the dumplings.

It no wonder, that other than us, the man in charge of the local borough also loved paying her visits, as well as the personnel of the social welfare programs too, to carry on in conversations with her.  While my husband and I would often remind each other, that we need to follow her lead in our old age.  Becoming an independent, self-made, gracious, grateful, elderly whom others loved being around.

And so, what helped this elderly person to be loved by others around her in life is her temperament, how despite how she had the conditions that came with her elderly years, she’d still, worked hard, to live her life to the fullest, not relying on anyone, staying, as independent as she possibly can, and, it’s her means to living her life, that’s, drawn all the members of the younger generations to her.

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Filed under Aging Gracefully, Life, Observations, Old Age, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Self-Images