For Sunday – June 2nd 2013.
Between Us Only!
Looking After The Elderly!
Your Lord had decreed, that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, Say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour.
And out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say; My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy, even as they cherished me in childhood – The Holy Quran Al-Israa – 17 -23-24
Some years ago – when my younger brother and I were taking our late father for his medical appointment at the hospital – we had parked the car near the Emergency entrance – and as we were getting him out of the car into the wheelchair – who comes to confront us but this old Omani person asking us very intrusive personal questions and our relationships with the patient. We met him later – and he was very apologetic to us as to why he did this!
The embarrassing taboo part was that though he had children of his own – including sons too – but none had accompanied him to the hospital but with just a proviso that once he finishes he should call one of them – and he will come to pick him at the entrance! He was lamenting badly ‘that they are more concerned about their jobs than me’ – especially when he came to know that we were also working at the time! This part seemed to hurt him a lot – learning where we worked – but then I politely and kindly told him not to ‘forget his son had a high profile job’ – not like us – and just not to make him feel more bad then what it was already!
Images Looking After The Elderly – For Demonstration Purposes Only!
A few months back this old lady we called as our granny had died. Allah Rest her soul – but she was a person that wanted a lot of attention to listening to – but otherwise was not a real pain or trouble. She had looked after our late father as a boy sometimes when our real grandmother was sick and invalid! She was the famous lady in my famous article of the relative lady who had wanted to slaughter her only goat that gave her milk too – because we had visited her at the home village for the first time when we had returned from Africa!
Images – Parents
At the funeral gathering they were asking us – ‘how were you related to her the late person?’ To just continue the conversation we had retorted – ‘why do you ask’! The answer came back – ‘because by the way you have all been concerned and the way you all came!’ I believe this always – sometimes in life it is best to keep quiet and pretend not to know – when bad things are said about others – and how they are treated about others – and I believe that also goes along well and fine with our teachings, belief and upbringing too! The most important thing is we ‘simply could not forget that this poor lady had at many times in her life’ looked after our late father! Nobody had asked her – nobody compelled her – and she was not even a relative to feel the pressure to do so!
With the nuclear family ever arising – coupled with increasing consumerism, selfishness, individualism, materialism and ever more bad hearts and will – and moving away from our upbringing, traditions, values, culture, customs and traditions – the old folks are more at danger than ever before! I remember my late father’s rueful cry – ‘surrounded by people – but have never felt so alone and miserable in my life ever before’. This after the old man refused to wear hearing aids – as they made him uncomfortable! And the loud voices in talking to him slowly evaporated and disappeared – and many times I had seen a tear or two falling down his cheek!
Images – Parents – For Demonstration Purposes Only!
As a person now reaching 65 and moving to the old ages – I can strongly believe that ‘what goes around; comes around’! My children and the family ones too prefer to stay in their own groups – and talk their own gibberish rubbish – and using messages, videos and photos on the latest mobile telephone gadgets – and forget about us the elders – but even the housemaid are very busy fully occupied looking after the children! I think my late father would smile elegantly if he saw the new images of his family – and you deserve it – he would surely retort!
In an article I wrote as early as ‘What Is Happening To Us Now? – June 25th 2003 – and The Defiant Rebellious Teenagers – September 15, 2004 – I 9 years ago! – I had said – Ever wondered what the future will hold to our grandchildren’s sons and daughters, the way things are going now even with them? It is really worrying and scaring, I tell you! I hope one day my grandchildren will read this article, and know what their father did for them as children! Where is that respect for parents? And to the elders and the older peoples in society? What about our customs, traditions, culture and heritage? Where have they gone?
Stories crop up now and then of elderly people being isolated and left alone by their children and supposed to be caretakers! A society that is not kind and merciful to its elders cannot expect any blessings, protection and goodwill from Allah God. That is an undeniable fact and truth of life. At the time when the idea of creating old peoples and invalid care home was made some years ago – there was an uproar that it was something alien and foreign to our society! Is it perhaps the time to revisit the idea once again?
Allah Protect and Preserve us all – and Guide us to the right path and way – Amin Take Care!
By Majid Al Suleimany