The more I hear stories like this, the more I move from being demoralized to being angry. I hope that this post will give the readers some food for thought…
In an update to this post, I am having to watch how the people I mentioned therein are selling off prized possessions just to stay afloat. Possessions that they have had for many years, some of which were meant to be inherited by their children. It is heartbreaking. Really. People who gave of themselves to so many people, but who now, when in need of help, are met with a myriad of excuses from the very people who knew where they were when help was needed.
I guess the old adage about desperate times calling for desperate measures is sadly so true.
I was chatting to a friend of mine earlier about this and she mentioned to me that a family member of hers is living on a state pension of just under R2000 (roughly $135). As is the case where I’m helping out the people in my earlier post where I can, they too are helping their family member out where they can. I found myself thinking aloud how does anyone, be it government or private enterprise expect another human being to live on R2000 a month. Just my health insurance (which is a necessity if you’re an elderly person) is half of that! It is beyond shocking; it is goddamn abominable!!
Surely this is not what people’s Golden Years are meant to be?
Another story I read late last week on Facebook was about an elderly woman in a local town nearby who is resident in an old age home. The person who posted the story is not a family member. He is merely an employee of a local car repair shop who has seen the old lady before when her very old car has needed to be looked at. In his post he tells of how she was talking about her son and he asked when last she saw her son, she said it has been ten months since she last spoke to him, even longer since she saw him. He proceeded to ask her where her son is from. He stays 6 Km out of town, on a farm. In total about 20 Km from the retirement home! He couldn’t come and fetch her for Christmas because “their vehicles are too high for her to get into” and “he recommended she didn’t try to come with her own car because it wouldn’t make it on the very bad, untarred road”. I just can’t believe that children would toss their parents aside like yesterday’s trash.
If your parents were around for you, why can’t you be around for them?
And yes, before one of you tosses a stone at me, or wants to burn me at the stake for my attitude, both my parents are still, by God’s grace, alive and living close by. They can sometimes be a bit too much when I visit, making demands on my time but it is because they’ve missed me, and also because, in their own way they want to make me know I’m appreciated, needed and loved. Sometimes they need help with something and I become impatient, but I catch myself in time, realizing that they must have felt exactly the same way I do now, but that they never wavered when it came to things I needed as a child. I make a concerted effort to visit them once a week, usually on a weekend, and I stay over. Some of my friends frown upon it, but I do it, not only because it is the right thing to do, but because I love them more than my own life.
One thing my mom always says is that I must never forget that I too am going to get old. If the Good Lord sees it fit to bless me with children one day, I’d rather have them be irritable and with me every so often, than be tossed aside to slowly wither away in an old age home, dying of a broken heart knowing they’re so close by, but don’t want me anymore.
We need to love our parents, appreciate and treasure them because one thing is certain: They are not going to be around forever.