Few days ago, I was at McDonald’s, twice in three days. Blwueekkk….. I am not a fan of burgers but it was the only outlet open where I can hang around while waiting for something. Ewweeukkk….
So, I absent-mindedly ordered the same stuffs, coffee for me and one RM3 beef and egg burger. All the time cursing that I had to stuff those things down my throat. Along came an old man, wearing shorts and some tattered t-shirt.
He sez : “I want to ask something” (in English)
Counter staff : “Mau aiskrim?” (want icecream?)
Ah Pek : *got annoyed* “I want to ask something. ” (His pronounciation wasn’t very clear because of his missing teeth.)
In the midst, my toddler started tugging me but I overheard Ah Pek asked the counter staff about this little coupons that come along with newspapers. It took a while to get his message through. He seem embarassed and the staff haddifficulties understanding him.
Counter staff : “Sorry lah, Ah Pek, kena beli baru dapat free.” (Sorry, old man, need to buy something then only can get free (some McEgg).
For a split second, I had wanted to tell the counter staff that I can gladly belanja (treat) the old man. But I also realised it is not a wise thing to do because the old man was really dignified inspite of his appearances. So, he walked off empty handed (but I hope not empty stomach).
That little scene really made my throat tighten and I feel a choking feeling. How many times have I thrown away half eaten burgers which my kids cannot finish because I hate, hate, hate McChicken. How many times have I thrown away McNuggets because they were already cold and dry. If only I can secretly tuck in RM10 for him so that he can get his hot meal. If only….
Seriously, I sometimes hate it when I have these compassions for others. Long time ago, my eyes aren’t open to all these. Life is much easier because I don’t have to feel so much. But on the other hand, I know there is a reason for this eye-opening experience.
Now, I dread going to the old folks home. Our choir is going to sing for the old folks at the Little Sister’s of the Poor next month. I have this phobia of old folks and sort of hate the thought of dealing with old people. My parents died in their prime. My in-laws? I couldn’t fulfil the duty of taking care of my comatose mom-in-law (hey, I got 3 small kids, then, ok?). She spent her last days (months actually) at the old folks home (luxurious private one). I had seen so many old folks there longing for company. Some of them are really cute and loveable.
I dread going to the old folks home not because I dislike old folks. But because I know I am going to get very emotional looking at these people. Heh, one of the reason I am afraid of old people was because my mom used to tell me the story of Hansel and Grethel, Hokkien version where this old witch fatten up little children so she can eat them. I don’t want to get eaten! No!!!!!!!!! Mom said they will chew all the fingers and spit out the bones.
Anyway, talking about this visit to the old folks home, I am a little disappointed with the number of people volunteering. Christmas, we have huge, huge turnout because we are going to posh hotels and Christmas Eve grand mass. We need to train for three months for Christmas. We only need three Sundays to practice for this old folks home choir but where are all the people? There is only a quarter of the members turn up. I hate to openly say this but I do wonder why people have lots of time for something glamorous and yet, no time for something that really matters which takes a lot less time? Aren’t we all serving God and aren’t being there to cheer up the old folks matters more?
*sigh….* Don’t mean to write soppy stuffs but they kicked out my sweet, bashful Elliot! I am so blue! Now I have no more reason to watch American Idol. *sniffs*
Moral of the story : Take care of your old folks! Just like how they used to take care of you when you were small.