How can you give when you’ve given all you’ve got?
You’re giving is not a bottomless pit, or an overflowing endless waterfall, though it may seem like that it is one.
During that time of giving, you did not spend much time in replenishing your giving, all that was out.
It was Uncle Gerald’s (mum’s brother) birthday yesterday, September 19th. Jeannie and I paid him a visit. As we got near the home, we actually overshot it by a few doors. I think it was because the familiar sign “No visitors allowed” was not up any longer.
We were told by one of the caregiver’s to go in straight to his room. This is a fairly new term to me – “caregiver”. I was first introduced to this term when dad came out of hospital after the accident he had over a year and a half ago, where he slipped, fell and injured his leg. The hospital had a metal plate bolted on him with screws, I think.
Sorry, I took a short ice-cream break – I had a Magnum “Belgian Chocolate Luxe” – Magnum’s best ice-cream with rich, dark chocolate ice-cream inside. The outside is Magnum’s signature chocolate body. This one is dotted with crisp rice pops. I love it! The dark chocolate ice-cream is supposed to be the consoling part – dark chocolate…healthier than normal chocolate. Whatever…! It was madnessly sweet.
It just so happened that I passed by a mirror after finishing the Magnum “Belgian Chocolate Luxe”. Deng! Deng! Deng! For a few what seemed like very long milliseconds, I could only see my stomach. Like an after thought, the rest of me followed. I am trying not to feel too guilty here. Like most days. I skipped breakfast and lunch, went for my brisk 10km walk (clocked a favourable time), weighed in at 72kg (1.5kg overweight), picked Jeannie up from work and had two roti canai with some fried chicken at The Taj Curry House. So, it should be good, right?
Uncle Gerald was so happy to see us. He told us that my brother Malcolm, our cousin’s son, William; and a few others had visited him. He also had many calls come in, even while we were there.
At 87, he had resigned himself to a small room with his bed, a 2-door wardrobe for his clothes, and a small sort of cupboard for his valuable and other belongings. He had a small Samsung Tablet and his smartphone to keep him in touch with the world; just like his father, Oli Papa, my grandfather on my mother’s side.
Oli Papa had been blind for about 50 years. Everyday, he would sit by his PIE radio and tune in to the radio stations around the world to keep him abreast with the latest that was going on in the world.
Uncle Gerald donated his big house to the church, sold whatever he could sell and donated that money away. Now, confined to his room, he spends time on his tablet. I wonder if he stays in his room because there are quite a few eligible ladies staying in that house with him. I am sure they may want to share more than a few bible verses with him. Uncle Gerald never married. So, here’s his chance to go dating.
A teacher before, he still applies that method of explanation for most things. He throws in a few metaphors here and there. His diction of the English language, the Queen’s English, i.e.; is at its best, as usual.
Uncle Gerald longs for all his nephews, nieces, other family members and friends to visit him. He welcomes all visitors and will scratch off all his scheduled plans for the day, just to spend time with those who visit him. His mind and memory are still sharp so he will know you are when you visit him.
Should he have gone to stay in a home? I don’t think he should have thrown in the towel just yet. He probably did not explore all avenues before he did so. This is only my view. I may not have delved deeply into the underlying factors as to why the old folks home. There may be a fair maiden there, we never know. He may just pull a rabbit out of the hat.
Founding Member of “The Gomes Kids Of Lorong Hicks Road” – 1930s, Japanese Occupation of Malaya: WW2, 1950s