A LENGTHY REBOOT

By Richard Hsu
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In the Autumn of Life

My gradmother is old. She is ~80 years of age and have been completely bed ridden for the last few years. For me, my grandma has played the typical grand mother's role. She would buy things for me, feed me, beat me, make me do chores, helped me get my first computer and paid for my Microsoft certification course. In short, a lot of what I am today is because of her. It would be dishonest to say that she is all nice but i don't want to remember her for the 'not-nice' things.

There was a time that I totally distanced myself from her and became cold to her. She could speak properly then, she could sit up and was much better than the state she is in now. But I ignored her and also hated her at times [my reasons are irrelevant now]. Now, I regret and want that time to come back so I could spend more time with her. It pains me to see her in her current state, she is begging me to bite her vein so she could die. She refuses to take medicine or food and my mum has to force it down her throat so she could be 'alive'. She had a minor stroke and as a result her left eye doesn't open now. Its always shut. Her right eye opens but due to the tears and contant lying down, its watery all the time. Everytime I look at her and hear her moan, it tells me one thing, she doesn't want to be 'alive' anymore, she wants to be relieved of the physical and mental pain. Its just a matter of time before she'll finally decide not to fight anymore and give up. She repeatedly expresses her desire to die as if someone in thirst is asking for water. There are many other very disturbing things that she does in desparation, things which any [normally] hyper active person would do in the state that she is in.

All her life, she has always been in control of things, to a certain extent been in control of things in every family members life. She is a self dependent, hard working type and for a person like that to be completely bed ridden, weak from a recent surgery is hell.

It has been a truly humbling experience [i was away from home for the last few months]. Looking at her, the meaning of life and living takes on an altogether different meaning. We shouldn't take health or life for granted. Certainly we should not take the people around us for granted, be it spouse, parents, brothers, sisters or relatives and friends [no particular order intened]. So now i always think of each moment as being special and precious and automatically things look better, happier. I am happy and thank God for giving me a chance to be nice to my Grandma but at the same time I can't help but pray to God to relieve her of her pain and suffering.