Wednesday, September 01, 2004

the curse of growing old 

My mother is 84 years old. She's bedridden now and suffering from alzheimer's disease, an affliction of old people, the origin of which is still unknown. Everytime I visit her, I want to cry out and demand to have the mother that I have known before. As it is, my mother hardly recognizes me until she is reminded of who I am. And even that, I don't really know if it sunk in. Then it hit me. Growing old is something we cannot avoid. Well, we could, but that means dying young. I don't want that either. Anyway, I tried to find an answer to my mom's affliction and came up with this poem. Well, it's not my mother actually, but she inspired me to write this poem. Hope you like it.

The curse of growing old

She does nothing but sleep, her only solace
from an empty world devoid
of ambitions. Just surprised to survive
and see another day.

Outliving her husband,
her curse.
She witnessed her children die,
suffered the pangs of their anguish
as they cried for help like unfed infants
pleading, gasping for milk.

She’s in a state of stupor,
a rock beneath a rushing river,
oblivious to the strength of its onrush or passing currents.
Passive, she accepts whatever floats her way.

Had she been in her prime, she would’ve question the universe.
Why couldn’t it follow the natural
scheme of things… that the first one in should be
the first one out.

As if to console her,
I touch her hands, hoping--
But as it is, blank stare passes through the most opaque things
before her eyes...like me.

She looks not at my apparently transparent face
but at the clouds.
She returns to her youth, calls out her friends
by their first names... smiles and plays with them again.
She closes her eyes
and sleeps.

If you need further assistance please see this
hi tito rolly.

feel ko ang sinabi mo and the poem as well. i can understand what you must feel. and i dread the thought of it happening to my mom. i would probably be as devastated as you are.

i guess we all have to accept the fact that this is what happens when people age and we try to remember them when they were in their prime. i know one day, it will be our turn too.
Very touching, Tito Rolly.

You remind me of my own Mama whom I lost a year ago due to a chronic illness. Heavy pa din pakiramdam ko hanggang ngayon. Alzheimer's can be treated if only payagan na yung stem cell research to go on....
Tito Rolly,

You've seen my lola in my family blogsite. She is turning 100 next year. She cried when I first left the Philippines. And oh, she never even stood up to take me to the door. She always has her moments every year we go home..definitely is senile now but somehow never forgets to ask for dollars from my son.

About my Mama. She's gone even before my husband and kids met her because of a heart disease. Heavy on the chest for me always. My second mom now is my mother in law. She definitely knows how to fill the void my mother has left me. So enjoy your mom while she's still young.
Ooopss, that was me..Ting Aling
Yes, Batjay. It is devastating. It has always been a prick in my heart to watch my mother having a hard time do the simplest of tasks like eating. Had I been rich, she would have been taken care of well. But as it is, with four children, mahirap. I feel so helpless.

Doc EmerI'm sorry to hear about your mom. I don't know how I can cope when the time comes for my mother. But as it is, I don't want to see her in this condition either. Who knows what God has planned for each one of us? I still have faith in God and leave it to His will.

Ting Aling I'm sorry, too about your mother. Like you, my father died even before meeting my wife. Sayang, he could have enjoyed my children very much. Especially the boys. he loved listening to music and i can almost see him turning off the tv while my son plays the violin. Yun namang youngest ko, seems to have inherited his athletic side. Bilis lumangoy. And of course, my two girls are just plain adorable. Sigh. Your grandma is 100 years old? Wow, how many among us would ever live that long. Definitely, it would not be me.

Thanks for visiting guys. This poem is still a working poem. Ang dami pang mali. I'll let it sit for a while then re-write it as I do with most of my works.
GOD has his mysterious ways of planning our lives, we may never know when our turn would be, but definitely HE would not put us in a place where we will never desire. when i was much younger i always fear of growing old, but life has also taught me to accept things, the way it should be, masakit man o maluwang sa dibdib at pakiramdam. Nanay is currently staying at my tita's house, and i miss her especially at night when she would wake me up to fix her snacks, in the morning when i would inject her insulin. trying times i guess are part of what life is all about and sometimes we could only sigh...
Thanks for sharing this.
I've just been reminded to spend some time with mom and dad, possibly for lunch today.
My dad's 77 and my mom's 68. Thank God they're still strong and healthy.
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