Filial Piety

January.24. 2014

Life is great when you’re young (or perhaps not so young).

You’re blessed with a good job, a good family, a nice home, perhaps even a grandchild or two. What bliss.

The only thing that can put a damper on this idyllic life is perhaps the presence of an aging parent.

Yes, aging parents can be so inconvenient.

They don’t do much, all they do is laze around the house, repeating the same things over and over, things you’ve heard many times before.

For those burdened with the presence of an aging parent, the standard solution is to ship them out to some ‘home for the aged,’ also known as senior homes.

Out of sight, out of mind.

But what if they fall sick and need constant care?

That’s always the biggest issue.

One man I knew decided to slap his old mother around when she fell sick and had to live with him.

The strategy apparently worked –  the old mother died within four months of living in his house. Rumor has it that she died of a broken heart. How is one supposed to feel when your eldest son, whom you have recently given your life savings to, decide to slap you around for entertainment?

But there’re others who are a little less proactive.

They prefer to let others do the dirty work.

Every health crisis that afflicts the aging parent becomes an opportunity for the Good Lord to ‘call them home.’

I heard of this woman whose mother was diagnosed with a serious ailment. Unfortunately, the old mother received good treatment and recovered, but what did this filial daughter say?

She said, “If this doctor is so good at curing her, maybe he can take care of her from now on. Who asked him to cure her?”

Truly, the milk of human kindness knows no bounds.

It brings to mind a saying my mother used to tell me.

“An eight year old child is to be loved, an eighty year old grandmother is to be despised.”

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