Went to teman mama to visit atuk at mak ngah’s house today. Thought of having lunch with him but he was too hungry while waiting for us to arrive so he had his first. But still, he sat with us and ate the food mama cooked for him.
The kids had just eaten their lunch with atuk. So, when they passed by him, they kept on asking, “bukan atuk dah makan ke tadi?” I think that agitated him a bit. Mama asked him until when he was planning to stay and he said tomorrow. So, mama reminded him that pak lang was planning to bring him back to Tampin on Wednesday. He seemed agitated by that too.
I dared not say anything for fear that I offended my mom’s love of her life. He’s the only parent she’s got left. And he’s 89 this year. Or is he 90? Mama keeps on telling me that he’s 89. Maybe she’s in denial too? Perhaps, but I’m really just speculating.
After the short lunch, he went to his couch. Plopped himself comfortably on it with his newspapers and drink. He kept on rubbing his temples as if something were wrong. But he knew that nothing was wrong. He knew that he was worried not because his children had not finished school or that his girls were getting married to the wrong guys. In fact, he knew that his children were just about the most successful people ever born and that they truly loved him so.
But he did continue rubbing his temples regardless. The wrinkles on his forehead and neck and the veins in his hands and feet have become more and more prominent.
He’s just confused, as he admitted to my mom just days before today. I think he knows the changes which are taking over his body and his mind, especially, and probably that is the thing scaring the life out of him because he knows that he has absolutely no control over them.
His memory is failing him and that scares me, even. And I think that even makes my mom sad. She’s really fond of him, you know. And I would hate for my mom to be sad when my atuk finally fails to remember her one day, God forbid.
Throughout my time there and my journey home, I kept thinking that one day, life would come to a full circle. It would be my turn to care for my mother and for me to face such realities involving old age and such. Would I be able to hold up my chin and not break down? That would probably make my mom more confused, wouldn’t it?
So, while we’re still young and able to go about, let’s enjoy this life and enjoy the time we have with our loved ones. We never know when we or they would return to Him, so, let’s make memories today for us to remember tomorrow. Even if we wouldn’t be able to remember (God Forbid), it’ll be nice to know that we’re thought of fondly, wouldn’t it?