For those of us who had the pleasure or directive to study Shakespeare, ‘soliloquy’ would be a familiar term as many of his characters spoke out in moments of unconsciousness or sleep. Poor us, as students of this English playwright, we had not only to understand the plot but to commit to memory the scripts inclusive the soliloquies less we failed to get excellent marks for literature. Indeed the above expression over the current trends of children showing diminishing concern for their parents and elders is a pertinent issue that seeks a remedy if not a new direction. I believe the young parent had a worrying or unhappy thought of circumstances expanding in the future. So do many others and myself included.
I would like to remember that almost forty years ago, while in Baling Kedah, a friend and an OCPD ( Officer-In -Charge of Police District) told me that he regularly contributed RM50.00 monthly to his father. A frugal amount I thought. Being an Indian and a sticker to filial piety he observed this contribution strictly. When he retired from the force, he had invested at least RM 20,000.00: a tiny sum for the parent who had invested greater wealth than that. Truly he has rewarded and honored them. Question! Can that be true too for us?. Regretfully I failed to follow his example.
Like you, I too have children. As they say colloquially, almost all except one “ sudah lepas” meaning they have moved on and married with family of their own. Already richer by more than a dozen grandchildren, we never ask for such investment. Being wage earner ourselves and now supported by the comfortable pension scheme, what we received have put us on safe pedestal and dependent on the generous hospital scheme if need be.
The question is “Why does it escape siblings from wanting to subscribe where necessary?” No doubt they may hand tokens of appreciations at Hari Raya or other celebrations. A steady contribution or investment would have been a good practice as Mr. Suppiah had done. Five siblings in a family all working and each one contributing even less than what Mr. Suppiah had done would have accumulated a small fortune. For parents who necessarily need care and attention at their late age, the more so they require our love.
If a ‘VW’ or a ‘Proton’ appears in the driveway one fine morning with a hand written note wouldn’t that be a dream? Of course they would do that for their maiden.
Imagine if dad or mum was to see such in front of the home. It is a dream but if it comes through it is a blessing indeed for all. In present context, a life insurance or medical benefit scheme would also be a fine gesture. Other examples abound.
Parents may enter into star ranking private hospitals for medical examination at the expanse of credit card facilities but nothing can replace personal attentions and warmth from the family. Observably we must salute the throng of visitors we see at public hospitals. They come to visit patients at the expense of distance or time even having to trudge on foot. That done because traditionally, they believe in religious and family obligations. Visitation is good for the sick while lending good deeds for the visitor.
I am spurt to delve into this absorbing topic due to a poem picked up from the NST several months back. I quote as below and may we ponder.
‘If you are ever going to love me
Love me now while I can know
All the sweet and tender feelings
From which the true affections flows
Love me now while I am living
Do not wait until I am gone
And then have it chiseled in marble
Sweet words on ice-cold stone
If you have tender thoughts of me
Why not whisper them to me?
Don’t you know it would make me happy?
And as glad as can be
If you wait until I’m sleeping
Never to waken here again
There will be walls of earth between us
And I won’t hear you then
I won’t need your kind words
When the grass grows over my face
I won’t crave your love and kisses
In my last low resting place
So if you love me, even a little bit
Let me know while I am living
So that I can treasure it."
(Quoted as from Robert Moreno’s The Time is Now)
Marriages outside the extended family and across borders or even nations though exciting and bringing about national and international unity place some encumbrances. Distance, priority and expenditure come into focus while the earlier smaller kampong style wed-locks among village communities guarantee inbreed and non detachment. Both nevertheless seek cooperation and understanding from partners, husbands and wives plus in-laws for the wellbeing of the family and lasting togetherness. Partners must share and give devotions and remembering always the needs for frequent visitations and niceties.
Yet we must forever remember one true obligation as repeatedly cautioned i.e. the dutiful obligation of children to always offer love, affection and prayers to their parents when they deceased. It is the only redemptions from pious children. We are first children while assuming the roles of parents later. Whatever way we look the resposibalities remain intact.
Let’s show our love always. It comes in varied forms and certainly not in small doses.
( Life has shown me the loss of many closest to my heart yet affections redouble resoluteness and continuity)