( this was written months ago..)
Today, as I sit waiting for my partner working on her patient’s denture,i chit-chatted with the patient who happens to be an old woman..( pangkat nenek pada aku, melihatkan dia..seriously..teringat kat arwah ‘mok’..). Looking at her from the side as she talked about her children, listening to her criticizing each child of hers as ‘malas belajar’..’tak jadi apa’ etc, I realized one thing..that this old nenek must be very lonely. Lonely enough that she talked to me like water pouring out from burst waterpipe, glad to have someone nodding and smiling to her words and stories.
I used to have an old, Indian patient who would tell me about the troubles in her life. As I work next to her, she would tell it all out, about her son who refuses to give her money, how she has to beg for money from her own children to buy things. How she lack affection and love from the ppl who's supposed to care for her the most. That is very sad. Plus that old Indian lady has got some heart problems too, not to mention her oral condition which is not good. She could go on and on talking about her life, and i would “uhuh..uhuh..” along the way, trying my best to catch her quite incomprehensible Malay language. But having someone who sit next to them and put an emphatic face, maybe that’s all what they need. Some attention.
Old patients alwys make me feel a little bit ‘blue’. Looking at them, so old, so fragile…wonder what they had went through their life. Old patients who would look at me with the look of a parent. They would wait patiently as we work on their dentures, and tried their best to pretend that the dentures are fine ( eventhough we know they’re fighting silently to keep the denture sit still in the mouth..). Old patients, who alwys make my eyes suddenly welled with tears, watching them walking out from clinic. ..
One thing about them, the ‘kata-kata nasihat’. Some are said in a joking way, some are more serious. About life, about ppl. Smtmes, they would lecture us about ‘finding a good husband’..in some cases, they would even tease to make us their ‘cucu menantu’..eheheh. But above all..i enjoyed treating them, the kind, warm..old patients. Their hand as they touch me when they talk ( u know, old ppl, they kind of like to ‘slap’ ur arm playfully ..)..and the encouraging look they gave us that says “ we trust u, u can do it ”. The thing that make me feel “ I wanna treat them the best that i could !”.
There’s a few things I learn as well :
1. Never let our old parents suffer lack of love and attention. No matter who we are or where we will be in the future. We might be living far away from them. It’s not the distance that matters, it’s the thought that counts. Call them often, talk to them..they really miss their children..( oh my god, im crying now…sob.)
2. Smtmes, all we need is a listener. We don’t want advice, we don’t need pep-talk..we just want to be listened.
3. Trust and faith in a person, are maybe the only thing that person needs, as a shove towards success.
4. Loneliness is a terrible thing. Yeah..smtmes, we do wish to be away from the hustle-bustle of life, and seek some place to be alone, that is different. But lonely in the sense that u have no one to talk to, no place to go and seek comfort, no shoulder to cry on..basically that’s what I mean..that’s terrible. Esp to old ppl, who have lost their spouses..( hmm..that must be one of the reason of their loneliness…) and that’s where our role as their children comes in. They have been there for us all our life, maybe then, it’s our turn to be there for them. They probably would say ".. mak okay, tak apa2…” atau “ ayah kuat lagi, takde mslh pun..” but being parents, they would never want to menyusahkan anak2..
4. And this is important I think for us, before it’s our time to be called 'warga emas’. Growing old is mandatory, that’s cycle of life. But let’s grow old gracefully and successfully, meanings that we don’t become a burden to the society, or our own family. Let us be a quality senior citizen, who still have a good life and enjoying each day tht comes. Have a hobby, any hobby. Be it gardening, reading or working on some project like ..buka kelas mengaji Quran ke, tadika ke things like tht..to fill our time. And maybe too we can go visit places around the world. After working hard all ur life..it’s the time to rest and enjoy the fruits of ur hardwork. Go for ur 2nd, 3rd or 4th honeymoon with ur spouse..( err..guys, i mean the one and only wife u ever got married to...ehheh.. ). Just the two of u. Spend time together, remisnicse all the good,old time. And the most important thing of all, it’s the time to be closer to God, in our final steps before we are called back to Him.
...insyaAllah..kalau diberi umur panjang, …