Tag Archives: Aging Gracefully

A Ninety-Two Year Old Man Loved to Sing, Exercises by Lifting His Legs, with the Help of His Cane

At the age of NINETY-TWO, the man still remains active, can you believe it???  A TRUE story, from the papers here, translated…

The ninety-two year-old elderly man, Lin loved singing, he’d made recordings of anti-war music, and had specifically chosen the songs with the extremely high note.

Lin has a strong voice, and it’d made people forget, that he needed a wheelchair, to get around.  Three years ago, his spinal column in the lumbar region was stressed, and after the surgery, it did improve, but he didn’t heal completely, and needed a cane to move around, which wasn’t difficult for him, who’d gone through the wars at his teenage years.  He would take his cane, and strut onto his lanai, and the way he’d walked it was like he was marching on the battlefields, getting some sun, reading the papers, he’d set aside half an hour in the early mornings outside, to get his vitamin D for the day, and to catch up on his reading too.

Written His Will, and Signed His DNR a Long Time Ago

Lin had also drafted his own last will testament, the very first line stated, if I fell too ill or became paralyzed, do NOT resuscitate me, do NOT use any intrusive methods of treatments, I’d prefer to be “euthanized”, I want to leave this world in peace in serenity, in a “natural way”.  He’d also signed his own DNR a long time ago too, from before when the former director of the sanitary department, Yang started advocating this, he’d already gone to the National Health Insurance Agency to register.

In his will, he’d stated that he will NOT have a any religious rituals, NO monks, NO séances, no recitation of Buddhist verses, NO band, “just play me singing, and put on a picture show of my life, and use my own voice as the background music.”

Most people when they passed, they’d wear a specialty clothing, Lin told his children, that he would want to be in his old suit.  He’d told them, “Don’t waste the money, everything should be simple.”  And his final rites of passage, would be as simple as possible too, but he’d made it especially clear to his children, “After my body is cremated, DO bury me in my wife’s graves.”  Lin wife passed early, he’d raised his children up, and, after he’s done with his final passage, he want to be with his wife forever.

However Long He Had, He’d Felt Blessed, Treated His Own Death Like a Celebration

As he was younger, Lin’s friend once read his features, and told him, that because his face wasn’t in a straight line, that he may not live past forty.  Back then, he’d gone to war, and had had close calls with death before.  In 1943, a bomb landed right in front of him, and, the head of his army class next to him was seriously injured, but he was okay, and they were just a step or two from one another; in a war in 1944, he and the leader of his army platoon went to check out the land, and, the guns went off, and, the man next to him fell to the ground, but thankfully, the Japanese soldiers didn’t pursue them, otherwise, he too, would’ve died.

“And now, I’d lived until this age, I’d earned it!”  Lin told, if his end had really come, he’d written in his last will testament to his kids, told them to not cry, and, based off of tradition, elderly who’d died after age eighty, the color red should be used, that there should be red candles lit by the shrine, that his kids should treat his funeral as a celebration.

Because this man had been through it all, he’d lived a full life, and, he did right by signing his own DNR, after all, he should get the right to decide how he should die, and this man had had a fulfilled life, and without the regrets.

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Filed under Aging Gracefully, Attitude, Awareness, Coping Mechanisms, Cost of Living, Expectations, Letting Go, Life, Nowhere Is Safe, Old Age, On Death & Dying, Properties of Life, Right to Die, Trends, Values

After We’re Old & Gray

Plans for old age, had you made them yet???  Translated…

I had a multitude of ailments originally, in these couple of years, my husband, who was strong as an ox, had gone in and out of the hospitals too, even though, each and every time, it’s been one false alarm after the next, but, I couldn’t help but worry, could it be, that the autumns of our lives are slowly approaching already?  We’d both bore witness to our parents, getting older, so, we’d had plenty of time to prepare ourselves for getting old too.

One day, my daughter came home to visit, asked me, “If in the end, either you or dad is left alone, then, move in with us!”

I was so moved toward her kindness and filial piety, but, to NOT be a burden to her, along with taking into consideration how my sons-in-law might feel, I’d told her of our plans early.

“We’d all saved up on enough money to keep us, in the end, if one of us becomes immobilized, we’d find someone to help us with the chores first.  One of us would leave first, the one who lived longer, if still lucid, will find someone to help take care of her/his daily living, and as a company, living in one’s own home is more convenient.”
“What if the hired help becomes abusive to you?”, no wonder my daughter had her worries, as those stories would get plastered across the front pages.

“After all, you have your own family to take care of, if you can make it home from time to time, to remind the hired assistant to treat us well, we’d be thankful.  As for the assistant, I believe, that if we treat her kindly, then, she would return the kindness too.  If we’d become demented or gone into a coma, then, please, DO send us into a nursing home, choose the facilities carefully, leaving our care up to the professionals, don’t tire yourselves out.”

It’s easy, caring for the young, they’re cute and pretty, grows up little by little each and every day, people would see hope through them, and their moods are lifted; it is exactly the opposite for taking care of demented elderly, they’d looked down, have weird language and behaviors, sometimes, they can’t even control themselves, adding to the troubles of the family members, even straining their loved ones, there wouldn’t be a point.  If you, the children could come to visit us often, that, would be the best kind of kindness toward us, we don’t ask for much.

After my daughter heard, she’d remained silent, I believe, that she must be battling on the inside.  Even though, that day hadn’t arrived yet, it is best, to make the plans early, I believe, that she would make a wise decision for us one day in the future.

This, would be a SERIOUS subject matter, after all, who would want to stick her/his parents into a nursing home?  And, this mother had planned everything out, so, her daughter won’t have to worry at all, that, would be her kindness toward her child.

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Filed under Family Matters, Life, Old Age

Mrs. Hsiao, Who’s So Very Young

How do you keep in shape???  Translated…

Seven years ago, I’d gotten involved in a community choir, even though I loved to sing, but I’d always worried that I’d be out of tune, the classmate next to me saw my worries, pointed toward the empty seat in a row up, said, “That, would be where Mrs. Hsiao sat, she’s already eighty-five years old, since the start of this choir, she’d been a member, she’d sung for nine straight years, happily too!  It’s just that recently, she’d had a fall, broken her femur, is in a cast, she must wait until she’d healed, then, she’ll return to class once more!”

A few weeks later, I finally got to see, the slimly built, with a thick Hunan accent, Mrs. Hsiao, and I’d seen how she managed, to outdo us all.  The lyrics are so finely printed, and, in order for her to read them well, Mrs. Hsiao had written out the words, the parts, onto a legal size paper, to make her own specialty song book.  This needed a TON of patience, along with stamina, to accomplish.

Because every song, she’d copied them, with her heart, and so, she’d known the runs very well, and, after the class, we’d seen her go to the instructors often, to ask questions.  The conductor’s class was multifaceted, religious music, artistic music, operatic too, even those mixes of popular music, are all in our repertoire.  Every time before a show, we’d all get super stressed out about having to memorize the words in Chinese, Taiwanese, Hakka, English, Japanese, Italian, and Latin, only Mrs. Hsiao, filled with confidence, even those Taiwanese language songs she wasn’t adept in, she’d sung them all very well in these couple of years too.

Mrs. Hsiao is still very healthy, several times we’d gone out, she managed to catch up to us.  She’d worked out, stretched her body, and so, she could stand up straight, and for a very long period of time too, she also has great flexibility.  I, who’d often slouched over as I stood would get scolded by her a lot.  Before the class, in order to relax ourselves, we would massage one another, and, we’d especially enjoyed getting Mrs. Hsiao to massage us, she is strong, whether it be kneading, rubbing, she managed to measure to the professionals.

The average age of our choir is sixty-six, and there are several members over the age of seventy, and, all of us are seen as younger generation to Mrs. Hsiao.  The fifty-year-old, Ms. Hsu, the instructor, was still a “little girl”.  Mrs. Hsiao who’d always greeted everybody with her smiles is very popular, would bring specialty items from all over the places to share with everybody, everybody wanted to get closer to her too.

We’d record our singing sessions, so we could find it easier, to practice later on.  Mrs. Hsiao would have her old cassette recorder, then, she’d found that our MP3’s worked better, and would ask us to e-mail the files to her grandson’s mailbox, so her grandson could play it back to her again.  Two summers ago, she’d asked me to send the files to HER e-mail box, turns out, that the grandson is about to go abroad to further his education, he’d helped his grandmother set up a brand new computer, and taught her how to use it.  And now, receiving e-mails, downloading the music files, are super easy for Mrs. Hsiao.

At the start of August this year, we were invited to a “Concert from Across the Straits”, as the announcer told that Mrs. Hsiao was ninety-two years old, everybody started screaming under the stage, and she’d become the BEST female singer!  And our choir recently was invited, to perform again, Mrs. Hsiao wore light makeup, with bright colored lipsticks, with a short wig, wearing a black skirt, with glitter on, our uniform, put on her flower scarf, from a distance, she looked like a younger woman.  She’d come along on stage with everybody, rehearsing over and over again, without a word that she was tired.  There was a song, where the female members of the choir needed to twist and turn, and shake, she too, did that well, it made us all in awe.

Mrs. Hsiao often told us, that being in the choir had give the elderly life focus again, and she’d become healthier, because of the choir, she was very thankful, to all of the classmates’ cares and concerns for her.  She is the “treasure” of our group too.  With this model student as standard, everybody was up and at it, when we’d practiced, we’d sung with our hearts.  At old age, if we could have her spirit in learning, along with good health, that, would be a heaven sent luck.  I hereby, wish that Mrs. Hsiao would be healthy forever, and live until she’s at least 120!

And so, this elderly woman IS an example, for us all, at the age of ninety-two, she was still, very active, in her group, and, everybody in the group looks out for her, because she is kind toward them, and that, is, aging with G-R-A-C-E!!!

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