Monday, July 18, 2011

Aging Scares Me

I don't know if anyone else has ever experienced this, and I don't know if I'm just being paranoid or overreacting. But I'm really afraid of aging.

Just a while ago, my family (extended with grandparents) went to the airport to send off my young uncle. He lives in Northern Ireland and comes every half a year or so he comes to Singapore for a month to visit us and his friends and especially his mom, dad and aunt.

Recently my grandmother sprained her spine twice in just one month. She is now unable to walk for any period of time, and now takes her meals upstairs in her room because it hurts her too much to walk down the stairs.

While I was in Northern Ireland, every time I came to visit I was struck by how much she has shrunk. I certainly have not grown taller, and I chalked it up to imagining her as being bigger than she really is.

However after spraining her spine I realised just how much she has shrunk. She has grown weaker, smaller. Obviously she's not able to do what she used to.

Watching my uncle say goodbye to my grandmother today has brought to my attention just how limited the time I have with my grandparents is. My usually cheerful uncle would stop smiling when he said his farewell to his mom. He knows just as well as we do that each time he leaves, there's a very real chance of it being the last time he ever sees her. Now, more than ever, there's a chance that this goodbye could be the very last.

This scares me. On the ride home I thought about how much time I have left with my grandmother and grandaunt. Looking at the two tiny frames sitting beside me, I thought about the two women who raised me up. For the first 12 years of my life they were the most prominent people in my tiny existence.

I'm not being stupid about this. I knew all along that Death would come to everyone eventually. I just did not realise that death would come to those so close to my heart.

I know that my grandma is far from fit. She is certainly not fit enough to make the meatballs I love so much (I now have a scar on my lip because of those meatballs). And she is most certainly not fit enough to run after me while I escape with that extra slice of cheese when I was 6. Thinking about all those little things that my grandma and grandaunt did for me, it never fails to make me cry when I start thinking about how one day they will never be around again.

As shallow as this is, I wonder if my grandmother ever thinks about how things were when she was young and fit. I wonder if they have anything that they regretted. And most of all, I wonder if I would be able to remember them when I am just as old as them.

See, as much as I want to start a family, I don't think beyond having a baby. It's just so hard to get my mind wrapped around having adult children. No matter how hard I try, I find it really hard to think about myself being in the same position as my grandmother is in now.

Before my mind gets blown, I have to remember that I'm still only 20 going on 21. I still have the first semester of the second year of university to go through (that'll be stressful). I still have to send Saheed off to army and wait for two years before he's a civilian again.

On a smaller scale, I have a little excess weight I want to get off. So I still have to go to the gym tomorrow. And I still have a teeny tiny gathering of three people after gym. We're going to go to a dimsum buffet.

During times when I'm so very depressed and sad, sometimes I guess I just have to get through things one day at a time.