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When The Fall Sets In, Who Will Be My Hero?

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When my mom called to inform about Grandma’s worsening health, I could not help but pack my bags and jump-start a journey home. Although, it’s not happening for the first time; I have done it before, but this time, it seemed intense.

So when I reached home, the very first thing that I wanted to see was the face of the woman, who happened to be my first room-mate in the age of four years when I asked my parents to give me a separate bed; they shifted me to Grandma’s room. More than an elder she became a friend albeit a grumpier one! She loved her all four grandchildren but had a different way with love and I hardly remember any PDA from her side, back then. As we grew teenagers to adults and she, old to older, slowly her affectionate side became evident and she kept getting better and sweeter with age. Yes, she was ageing and today….

“Has the time arrived for her?” I was thinking while moving towards her room. I can’t tell, how badly I want to be with her during her fall of life but wish is wish and for such wish to come true, number of hurdles are already standing tall. All I can do is…be there as often as I can.

This time I was told about her episodes of no talking, wrong recognitions, non-stop sleeping. I was so worried.

As I opened the door, I was kind of taken aback to see the missing bed from her room (It didn’t look like a good sign). I have heard from people that according to Hindu religion, the dying person is kept on ground. However, death is inevitable but my heart refused to accept and I looked to my mom for an answer.

Mom understood and said, “She gets very restless during night. However I am always here but somehow it’s not possible to stay awake all night and a few times, she has fallen off the bed. To avoid injury, we removed the beds and spread mattresses on the floor.”

That looked just. I moved in front of my Granny who was sitting with her head dug almost in her thighs. I tried to be casual, “Hey Oldie! Look who’s here?” I was hoping for an answer and to everyone’s surprise she raised her head and called out my name in a shaky voice! The next words got stuck in my throat when I saw her swollen huge face as if thousands of bees have left their sting there. She could barely open her eyes. I put my arms around her; she appeared so thin and bony.

“You are the first person, she has recognized immediately, in last three days otherwise she behaved very eccentric and talked gibberish. That’s the reason you were called upon without delay,” Mom continued.

I smiled and touched her cheeks, “she is all good!” but  a voice echoed in my mind, “for how long…?”

The unwelcomed memento that ‘age’ gives you is helplessness; however well-to-do you are, age doesn’t spare anyone. Getting old may be fine but getting very old has its consequences and it is here that the role of family comes in. No doubt, Granny is suffering due to her age but she is fortunate to have a family who is taking great care of her, considering she is totally bed-ridden. My mom’s life has been reduced to four walls of her home for almost two years; she is a dutiful daughter-in-law and a silent hero.

But she is also a reason for many to think,” what happens/will happen to those oldies, who don’t have/stand a chance to have a daughter-in-law?

Who’ll take care of them?

The ‘fall’ of life is foreseeable.

Will such people get a hand through the killing ‘winters’ of their life and see the blossoms next season through someone’s eyes…?

I don’t know…Do you?

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