I can't help feeling a little depressed today even though an old friend is treating me to lunch. Like me, she's a single mum struggling to bring her son up all by herself.
She wanted me to choose the restaurant, I thought of Barracks right away because I love the food and ambience. Yesterday I found out that she is saving money to bring her son to Japan this December. She had flatly refused my offer to split the bill or pay for lunch, so here I am thinking of another place that's easier on her pocket.
We're born exactly 2 days apart and we've been looking forward to this celebration for sometime now. In fact, all our Blackie Eight members are planning to meet this Friday to eat and chat.
Today, one emailed to say her mum had a heart attack and is critically ill in the hospital. Another one can't join us because she had to visit her mum on the same day. Yet another one is keeping vigil by her father's side as he lies comatose in the hospital.
Today, a friend on FaceBook talked about his mum's final days as cancer ravages through her body. According to him, she's at peace and the family's enjoying a laugh amidst the tears.
Yesterday, I devoted my afternoon bringing mum for her TCM consultation. She was determined to see the Chinese doctor despite the long 3-hour wait. We reached home at 8.30pm, hungry and tired but hopeful that her condition will improve for the better.
Looking around me, I can only say that hitting this milestone is not an easy one. On one hand, we're happy to see our little ones grow up yet on the other hand, it's painful to see the older ones decline.
I empathise with the family health problems that you and your friends are experiencing.
This may be cold comfort, but comfort nevertheless, I would rather be looking after old, sick family members even as I myself am growing old, than have them long departed in days when I didn't have the time or inclination to do the caring.
As for lunching with friends, my own preference is we go Dutch, whatever the individual's financial circumstances, and leave treats to special occasions, such as birthdays, or one-off celebratory events, such as a promotion.
Auntielucia - yes, anytime spent caring for loved ones is better than not having the opportunity to do so.
I am never comfortable with receiving lunch treats unless it is business lunch or I know I will have a chance to recipocrate. In this case, I have done her some favours and she wants to thank me.
I also tend to agree with Auntie Lucia's comments. Especially where I work now, where some of the resident's don't have any family to care for them... that is so sad...
A heavy post, but your friends from "Blackie Eight" (including yourself) are filled with love for the older folks and that is very commendable indeed. Especially in this time and day.
You are absolutely correct! It's very sad to see our parents getting sick and old!
You're such a good daughter!
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