Growing Old is Painful

I have been wanting to write about the pains of growing old after we have visited my grandma last month. I figured out I was too afraid to write about it. But I'd rather face the reality that growing old can be too painful at times.

People now are too scared to even look old, what more the idea of reaching the age of 70, 80, or 90 to some? We combat the sagging and wrinkling of skin by using different anti-aging cremes readily available in the market but why fear about aging? It is nothing but part of life. I think it is not aging that we should be scared of, or ashamed of, but it is growing old that we should sometimes think about.

In the future, when we grow old, who would care to look after us? Who would care to give us a bath; who would dare to wipe us after using the bathroom? Thankfully we Filipinos don't think of nursing homes as one of the options. However, life can always be busy that we leave our grannies at home with our house help but God knows what happens when we're just not around.

My lola is 88. Her house is just 15 to 20 steps away from the house of my aunt, my mom's eldest sister. She usually spends the day alone. My aunt, given the distance of their houses, limits her visit to my lola to only a couple of times a week. While mom and other aunts and uncles visit lola during vacations only.

Lola is already old. And thin. And weak. She just watches the day as it slips away. She eats and a maid gives her a bath and sleeps with her but that's just it. It is lonely. Lola is lonely. Yet she does not even want to leave her small house (the small portion left when the big house burned down during the 80s) and move in with my aunt. After she got really ill last Feb., my mom's siblings gave her the option of living in Manila or moving to my aunt's place. She chose neither. Wanted neither. She wants to stay in her own space.

Seeing her last month almost broke my heart. Writing this entry makes it even more painful. I am hoping that someone really gives her full attention. I hope I can be the one to do it, if only she remembers my name, if only she remembers that pair of ceramic glass shoes she gifted me several Christmas ago, if only... too many if onlys. I hope mom can do something about it. I hope... I hope... too many i hopes

Growing old can be, no, is, painful. I know deep inside my lola's heart that she is in pain. She was once so cheerful and talkative... so full of life... But now she barely remembers her grandchildren. I don't want this to happen to anyone. I don't one anyone to grow old in such painful condition. I don't want any of my loved one grow old in pain. Let's keep our loved ones close to us and fill their lives with love and care. Growing old would be less painful that way.

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