As I entered inside the room of an old age home, Mr. Khalid Who is 71 years old turned to me with a big smile on his face and said “meray betay arahay hain mjhse milnay aj” (my sons are coming to meet me today)
He was all ready in his favorite bright blue shirt with black pants which he specially wore to meet his sons and grandsons. His eyes were shinning like diamonds and his lips had a constant unbreakable smile. He was so damn happy that day. One of the employees at the old age home told me that Mr. Khalid Stay quiet, sad and detached from everyone all the time except the days when his family comes to visit him.
As I spoke to him, he told me that because his sons got married and as their families extended, the house went short of rooms and they wanted privacy due to which they shifted him to an old age home. While telling his story, tears ran down from his wrinkled eyes down to his cheeks and entered his shivering lips.
That was the moment when my heart started sinking and tears started rolling down my eyes.
My question to everyone here is:
Our parents are our responsibility or an old age home’s responsibility? The people who brought us up and made us who we are today, are not even worth our time and a small space in our big houses?
Our religion, our culture, our values teach us to respect, care and love our parents. We are not even supposed to say” uffff” in front of them, then how can we abandon them and throw them to spend their last few days of lives in an old age home where there’s no one to listen to their stories, no one to listen to their grievances, no one to pamper them?
Our parents are OUR responsibility. How can we be so selfish and cold hearted?
Do we even realize that how priceless our parents are for us? Their prayers, their care, their love is the only thing that can help us in our hard times. Why do we forget that what we are today is ONLY because of them? How can we forget those countless hurdles and sleepless nights they had to go through just to comfort us? Why do we forget that they sacrificed their needs just to make us happy and to fulfill our big worldly wishes?
Let’s work together in our respective capacities to show love, care and compassion to our parents and elders of our family who have been the bright shining lights of guidance for us and who have been igniting our capabilities so that we could shine throughout of lives.
In the end, I would like to appreciate the efforts of Old Age Homes which are a blessing in disguise for those unfortunate parents who have been abandoned by their children. Those sad, helpless and hopeless hearts consider these old age homes and their employees as a blessing and treat each other as their families. Some people consider old age homes as a curse but to me, they are a blessing as homeless and unwanted elders of families get a shelter and get to live with those people who share the same grief as they do!
By: Hiba Umer.