During youth there is plenty of energy and strength. Youngsters slowly evolve to become matured and well balanced in their deeds and actions by sailing through the good and bad waters of experience that life presents to them. Thus a new job, marriage, becoming a parent etc are all gift wrapped tough experiences that he undergoes in his life. As years pass by he may bloom into a bright sunshine of enlightenment, experience and wisdom.
Aging is such an integral part of our life, we have to happily welcome this phase too with the same enthusiasm we had – when we got a job, when we got married, when we became a parent and when we reached successfully other milestones in our life and career so far. We have to gracefully accept this stage of life, feeling very proud that we have successfully raised our children who are now well settled with their own family/home. Senior Citizens command a special respect in our society and this is mainly because we all acknowledge the fact that “Aging speaks of Wisdom and Experience”. Aged people are clothed with humility and self- restraint. These are the positives of aging. But there are some problems too as our cells become grey and old.
Here is the story of a senior citizen whom I met during a train journey. This respectful gentleman was gazing out of the window and occasionally turned a page or two in the book he was holding. But I could figure out that he lacked concentration and was not interested in reading. The journey was a boredom for him. Every five minutes he gazed at his watch and looked out if the destination station has reached. I tried to pick up a conversation with this gentleman who was very much reserved initially and looked very sad as if he is deeply hurt. Slowly he opened up. He asked about my career, family, what the kids are doing etc etc. Now it was my turn to ask him about his family.
He said that he was a proud father who has successfully raised two wonderful children who are well settled in life with their own family- now living in different parts of the world. He had four grand children too. Then there was a minute silence. Suddenly I spotted that his eyes were welling up and it could fall out any time. Then he said that he had several friends, but his wife was his best friend, his confidante,who was always there by his side and was consciously blind to his faults. He added,she made sure that she was there consoling him in times of bitter experiences they had faced in their life, less complaining, understanding and always giving him courage to face the difficult situations in life with a poised mind, placing an unflinching faith on GOD. Experience had taught him that money does not make the moment nor buy happiness. The tears spilled now and he said “I lost her a couple of months before. She has left me alone”. He did not feel the loneliness till his relatives and children went back to their places to continue with their life. I really wanted to change the topic of discussion as I saw this shattered senior gentleman nearing eighty, sobbing like a kid.
I really wanted to ask this gentleman whether he told at least once to his beloved that she was an ” epitome of love and sacrifice” when she was alive..But I did not ask this question to him that may add up to his overwhelming grief of loss and separation.
I tried to pacify him and agreed with him that it will take some time to sink in that he has lost the precious gem of his life. The train stopped at a station and suddenly I thought that buying a coffee and some snacks for both of us will really give a brake from the current topic of discussion.
Amazingly, I understood what kind of an influence a good wife can be in her husband’s life ! If the wife parts away first, the husband finds it very difficult to survive. Why? He realises that his wife was always the giver all her life and he was the receiver or dependent. She was giving care,love,attention,education, life lessons etc constantly reminding them about their duties towards their children and family. Mostly,men on the other hand do their only job of providing for the family by bringing money for their survival and existence. Women are great managers!. They are the nucleus around which the entire family revolves.