Father and son, a good meal and a grateful heart

It’s true, I think, what they say about old people, that “those who have a will to live, as well as those who have a reason to keep living, have a higher probability of living a longer life”.

While I was unfortunate to lose my previously ever-active and lively grandmother to cancer, here is a story of how the love of a son enables a man to go on far into his old life, despite the difficulties of a decreasing mobility that confines us human beings to what is called, “mortality”.

Here I was, sitting at a big and spacious food court with several large fans blasting furiously and producing such a loud noise that you can barely hear the voices of those around you. Overhead, a blaring speaker sends out a somewhat out-of-place instrumental rendition of the kind of music you hear at posh hotels or high-class Chinese restaurants. Can’t blame them for trying, though.

It was a quiet lunchtime, there were not many people. I was nonchalantly sipping my second glass of iced tea, which was unfortunately bitter since I asked to reduce the sweetness after having a super sweet first glass. A father and son sat at the table in front of me. It was a 6-seater, 3 chairs on either side. Moving one chair to the short end of the table, the son ordered food, sat down and started to eat.

The father (probably around 80 years old) ate slowly, barely moving an inch per second every time he lifted his spoon to his mouth. The son, on the other hand, gulped down his food so fast that it was gone within seconds.

The father, with his hand shaking with every bite of his mixed rice dish, could not help but do so, hence making it such a difficult task to do something such as drink soup without spilling it.

Gently and patiently, the son who just finished his meal held the father’s hand as well as the spoon he was holding and started to scoop some soup from the bowl. Talking casually while doing so (I couldn’t hear their conversation, though, because of the fans), the father ate his way through the whole big plate of rice with side dishes of meat and vegetables. The two of them then left the food court arm in arm, the son supporting his frail father while they walked slowly out the entrance.

Truth be told, this isn’t exactly a strange observation, but it certainly was a rare one. I truly believe that the amount of love and dedication, care and attention given by the son shows his ultimate gratitude towards the one who raised him to become who he is today. Some say that old people who no longer have a will or reason to live have a higher chance of dying faster simply because they stop eating (or having an appetite to eat), stop thinking, and generally stop doing anything at all. It is also said that being surrounded by people who care or by having something to do to keep the body and mind moving may enable one to live longer.

It was such a heartwarming thing to witness that I was on the verge of shedding a tear, remembering my dear beloved grandmother who had since gone off to a better world.

Thanks for reading!



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