Neglected Elders

Now soon you shall forget me”, I said. They’d not come over for weeks now. I knew both were busy, but I missed their presence in my life. I felt them slipping away from me.

Every grandparent wanted their grandkids to love and care for them, and they did. I’d brought them up, bestowed more affection on them than even my daughter had and they returned that double with kisses, hugs and a chocolate sometimes.

Grandma, your lap is our pillow”, they would say and come lie down as soon as they got home from school. They did not care who was there, what they would say. Even when they grew older, they fought for lying on my lap.

Life changes, and with time, they also began to draw away from me. Studies took most of their time now, and I was happy seeing them excel. They’d come once or twice a week, spend some time with me.

Eventually, even that stopped. They’d be too tired, and go straight to their home. They began to call up instead. Their parents had stopped that also. Instead, I’d go over now.

Change affected him strangely. He began losing concentration and slipping in his goals. I’d pray for him more. He’d talk of his fears to his sister; I’d try to overhear them. She’d gone down too, but both supported each other through tough times.

Then I fell ill. A fever that nearly took my life… my daughter would take care of me. I wanted them to visit me, but fearing for their health, both stayed away.

Each passing day, I’d feel a bit better. I began fighting my illness, just to be with them. The fever subsided, but it left its scars. I’d got knee pain, unable now to walk to their home.

Don’t strain yourself. We’ll come soon”, they’d say. He completed his graduation, she her schooling, but still both were less frequent. My yearning was without effect.

Elated when he got a job, he came to tell me. I took his chocolate, giving him a tight hug. He smiled and went off. I’ve not seen him since.

Last days into her college examinations, she got busy with studies. I’ve not seen her since.

Days seem to pass by quick, yet those tears in my eyes don’t seem to dry. I try to tell them how much I miss them, but they don’t pay attention.

Escape is what I desire now. No one seems to want my presence in their life. Everyday seems the same; every moment seems to have already happened before.

Recently, I’d called his home. He had picked up first. I enquired of his health, of his job and its status. He just replied very urgently. She was there too, I heard her on the speakerphone. It’d been weeks since I saw them both, but they thought it was the day before.

Soon you shall forget me”, I said. A tear fell, he cut the call.

Poetry & writing are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.

4 thoughts on “Neglected Elders”

  1. I am so sad…why do our elders have to suffer like this.I dread the day when I will be old and be left alone in my home when all kids would have flown nest?I wish and pray that they will not neglect me in this way!

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