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.