Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Getting older as no one wishes

Being old is not a choice. It's an obligation.

Living in this world as human being, we are bonded to a contract, an absolute one. No one can run away from this signed-by-blood-and-protected-by-more-than-law contract. We are supposed to live in a cycle: fetus-baby-toddler-child-teenager-adult-elder-corpse.

Although some people jump from one stage straight to the end, the rest and the majority follow the cycle very obediently. Each of them will start its life in an isolated and safe world, called womb, for nine months before being born and transform to a baby. The baby starts to recognize the world, get to know people around him, smile, laugh, get excited, and cry. He starts to babble and coo as an indication of learning how to speak. He starts to sit, stand, and walk. He grows bigger. He is toddler. Several more years and the toddler can be called a child. Year by year, his body grow taller. When the puberty signs come along, voila, he's a teenager. Passing the twentieth age, he leaves his teenage life and start to be an adult. Sooner or later, the aging will start and transform each of them to an elder. The hair will turn white, the skin will wrinkle, the strength will go away. All of the things will fade towards death. See, all of us are destined to go through the stages and from a tiny little thing called sperm, the wheel starts to rotate.

As a human, I have gone through some of the stages. I have felt the safety of being a fetus, inside my mother's womb, surrounded by the thick amniotic liquid. I have enjoyed the days of baby which I spent sleeping, eating, playing, and wearing diapers. I have passed the stage of toddlers when I was still too young to know the real life except playing dolls, singing, and drawing on the wall. One time, I have been a child who is so enthusiastic about anything new: television, school days, simple maths, poems, and drawings. I even have just finished my teenage life, the period when I finally knew how to giggle on cute guys, how to turn down boys, and how to feel the thing they called of first love. I've just two months away from the teenager status. I am officially an adult now, and the next step is being old, not more or less.

To be honest, I am so scared of the next stage of my live. Sooner or later, I will be old. My skin will no longer be smooth, my hair will be turning white, my legs will not be strong enough even for walking, my hands will shivering when I hold things, my eyesight will be blurrer, my teeth will be off one by one, and my brain will be getting dull. I am really afraid of the turning point. I feel not able to watch myself getting older and older. I have seen so many elders being abandoned by their family. They have to count the days towards the end of their story alone. None cares what they are doing. None wants to think about their wills and needs. None even bother to talk to them since they are just too outdated. when they get older and older, they lose more and more essence of life.

I know, I just happened to watch some of them who were so unlucky. The rest are okay with so many people taking care of them. But, I still think that the chance of me being one of the unlucky ones is still too big. I don't want to get older and have to rely on others for my living. I want to stay forever young and live my life on my own feet.
This lunch time, when I was queueing for my meal, I happened to see an old woman. I thought her age was about four times mine. She was alone and she was having her lunch: a bowl of white porridge and a portion of steamed fish. She was so skinny; her hair was white, too short for a woman; and her backbone was bended so that she couldn't walk straight anymore. Her hand was shaking when she tried to hold the spoon and feed herself. Her lips were also trembling when she attempted to sip her meal. I was looking at her with a sad smile. Even for a simple meal, she put the fullest effort. I felt like crying to loook at her. I wondered why she was alone, why no one was accompanying her having lunch, why this, and why that. I couldn't get my eye sight off of her till I got my turn to order for my meal as my questions hung silently in the air.

And I remembered the old guy I saw everyday on my way from and to Lavender MRT Station. He was old. He was alone. He looked miserable. He was unlucky. And of course, I remembered my grandmother.

My grandmother. She is in a more miserable condition than those two elders. She cannot do anything except lying on the bed and waiting for anyone to feed her, bath her, change her diaper, move her to the wheelchair, and talk to her. She even cannot cry anymore. She is so pity, isn't she?

Those people I mentioned was just three out of several thousands or more unlucky elders. I am so afraid of being one of them later. I don't dare to imagine myself in that condition. I don't want to be old. I don't want to be weak. I don't want to be miserable. I just want to stay in this space for eternity.

If only I can stop the time.

U're the best I've ever had

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