Saturday, March 09, 2013

Uncle George revisited

                                          93-year old Uncle George with his characteristic smile

Uncle George is the grand old man of Batu Gajah, whom I wrote about some years ago. He is well known for his characteristic cheerfulness and laugh. After the demise of his wife 6 years ago he has been staying alone in his house, moving around on his bicycle wearing his characteristic Mexican hat.

He turns 93 year old this June and during a recent visit to him I can visibly see the signs of aging in him. He is weak and wobbly and says he feels very tired and has poor appetite. “I like to eat but I just don’t have the appetite to do so” he says sadly.

Of late he was sickly and has been in and out of hospital a number of times. It is sad to hear that at times when he does not feel well at night he has to walk out of his house to get a lift to the nearby hospital. It is reassuring to hear him say that w anyone seeing him by the roadside with his hat on always stop and send him to the hospital.

When I spoke to him many years ago when his wife was still with him he said. “My greatest fear is loneliness” and today his fears have become real as he is staying all alone at such an advanced age. He feels very lonely and depressed as very few come to visit him these days. However despite his misery he still puts up a very cheerful look, which used to be his characteristic of him as known to his friends in Batu Gajah.

We do all sorts of things in life to accumulate wealth for us and our families hoping these will give us happiness when we are old. He is a man at 93, who has enough money and a comfortable house but no company to share his life. He longs for the company of his friends and relatives but there is none and he is left loneliness, something feared most in his life.

We may not be able to cure him of his ailments as we have our own problems and responsibilities. The least we can do is to think about him and  do the little we can on our part to cheer up this grand man of Batu Gajah. Praying alone is not good enough but to visit him and spend some time with him whenever we can will be most rewarding acts we can afford at times.

May God bless Uncle George with peace and happiness and alleviate the pain and sorrow of his loneliness at the twilight of his life.

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