Back nine of my life
And then it is winter………..
Time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware. It seems like it was only yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on a new journey with my mate. And yet sometimes, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went by. I know that I lived them well as I catch glimpses of how it was back then and all my hopes and dreams.
I loved playing golf and always enjoyed playing the front nine with my friends…. But here it is, the back nine of my life and it has certainly caught me by surprise. I remember seeing older people through the years and thinking that they were a zillion years away from me…that I was on my first hole and the back nine was so far away that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like. This is an honest confession of an 88-year-old young man dealing with new aches and pains everyday but still braving it in his own abode as a proud warrior.
With each passing day, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day, and taking a nap is not a treat anymore…it is mandatory! And so, I enter yet another season of my life, unprepared for all the aches and pains and the gradual loss of strength and ability to do things. But at least I know that though I am on my back nine and have my share of regrets—there are things I wish I had not done or things I should have done—there are so many things I am happy to have done. It is all a part of life.
I am a proud man drawing a very decent pension, living independently in my own house (a dream that my wife and I had shared). I have children and grandchildren, who are doing extremely well for themselves and extremely caring daughters in law—we speak on Skype, exchange notes and they visit me occasionally and generally care for me and are worried about my wellbeing—but I like staying on my own. My one and only dream is to accomplish as much as I can by myself while staying in the comfort of my own home.
When I came to know about Support Elders Private Limited from a well-wisher and decided to hear them out, I realised that their services seemed to be tailor-made for me. I wanted to live and function independently in the society and occasionally mingle with like-minded company or go out. I want to live for today and say all those things that I want to say and do all the things that I have always wanted to do. After interacting with the Support Elders staff, I felt sure that my needs will be suitably taken care of. The best part about their Medical Emergency Alert Services is the assurance that 24X7 someone is there to react knowledgeably and promptly in case a medical emergency arises and ensure that I reach the nearest medical institution. Even my children support my decision. After a long time, I sensed relief in the voices of my children and grandchildren—this strengthened my conviction that I had taken the right decision.
I believe that life is a gift, and the way one lives is our gift to those who come after. I am enjoying my life fully today and with Support Elders to take care of me, I can breathe easy. I quote Dalai Lama, “Not everyone will understand your journey. That’s fine, it is not their journey to make sense of. It is yours.”
Lt Col ( Retired) Samaresh Nath Bhaduri is a member of ours. We consider ourselves privileged to be a part of his life.
A very happy Holi indeed!
Festivals are happy times. Times to make beautiful memories. But what happens when you are thousands of miles away from home, away from your elderly parents who are haunted by those memories and feel all the more lonely and sad? Soumi Basu shares her story of how unexpectedly her family’s Holi became a happy occasion once again!
I was having a chat with my mother-in-law on the phone. She mentioned that Holi was just around the corner and how these festivals are really difficult for them without us. I had caught her in one of those rare, sentimental moods. Most of the time she sounds happy and strong. But this year had been a bit difficult health-wise for both my parents-in-law. She said she was very happy that both her children are happily married and doing well but sometimes the distance seemed too much. She wished we were in Kolkata.
My parents-in-law have never made me feel any less loved than their own children. And love works both ways. They had ceased to be my parents-in-law and become my parents long ago. I live in Paris and my sister-in-law lives in London. Because of their health problems, both of us had already visited them twice last year and were planning to visit them again in the summer when the children’s schools would break for summer. So, paying them a visit and cheering them up was not a do-able option. But my mother-in-law’s longing stayed with me. I was feeling sad and a little guilty.
I was discussing this hopeless situation with a friend and she told me about Support Elders’ unique idea of visiting elderly parents whose children live away from Kolkata with abeer and sweets. All I had to do was take part in their online contest. I visited their facebook page and shared my most memorable Holi experience with them. A few days later they contacted me for the address of my family. Feeling excited and happy, I shared my parents-in-law’s contact information. I did not tell my parents-in-law anything. I wanted it to be a surprise for them.
The Support Elders team visited my parents-in-law in the morning with abeer and sandesh. They smeared abeer on the feet of the elders as is traditional and hugged them. Not just that, they stayed for a couple of hours, chatting with my parents-in-law, sharing breakfast with them, and listening to their stories. The best part was the team clicking photos of my happy in-laws and sending them to us. It was the best Holi gift ever!
I called my parents-in-law later to wish them a happy Holi. With the time difference, it was just early morning for us—the Support Elders team had already visited them and my in-laws sounded so happy and excited. My mother-in-law kept telling me how nice it was and that the team that had visited them were so warm, friendly and well-mannered and just like her own children. My father-in-law, a man of very few words, went all emotional and said it felt like his children had put abeer on his feet. He told me, “I bless my children and the team with all my heart. I am proud that we have raised such sensitive children.”
Even though we were thousands of miles away from them, thanks to Support Elders I have never felt closer to them. A truly unique concept carried out with a very generous heart!