THE GRANDPA IN ME
When I was a toddler, my mother’s father lived with us for a while. I had only a shade of a memory at that time because you cannot expect a two year old kid to memorize his environment clearly. His brains were not that developed yet. The most vivid recollection I had then was to serve my grandpa his meals as prepared by my mother. And it was a plateful—a cup of rice, vegetable as viand and an over ripe banana. I recalled confronting mother with a complaint that grandpa does not deserve a blackish peel. My mother merely gave me a serious glance but after that I remembered that I dropped the fruit and picked a glowingly yellow banana.
When I presented the plate to grandpa, I saw his furious brow crossed, eyes reddened and blushing cheek. I could sense his anger. He whispered that the banana I gave him would make him sick. He preferred the overripe one because it made him live longer! From that time on, I could no longer remember if I volunteered to bring my grandpa’s meal to his room anymore or because he was forced to eat the clean looking fruit he died immediately.
That was my first brush with a senior citizen. Several decades later, I would assume the same persona. After I have celebrated my 60th birthday, I realized that I am already on the same league as those I would reckon for their age. My hair turned gray, even my precious beard, a neatly trimmed facial decoration on my chin indicating, in my estimation, greatness in scholarship, much like those scientists I have been idolizing during school days in the confines of the library.
And here I am trying to act like the oldie I would recall those ageing close relatives during my halcyon days. They walked slowly, almost cautiously. Their eyes troubled and would focus with difficulty. Their breathing was strenuous; wrinkles were obvious on their complexion. Every time they would open their mouths, it was a Technicolor sight as a consequence of various tablets and medicinal compound ingested. The problem there however is that I never experienced the same condition as they had.
I still walk briskly although at times I would catch my breath. I still could read books and gaze at the monitor for internet update for hours without rest. I am still a heavy smoker and I could still count the crow feet on my eyes whenever I giggle. The only medicine I take is Vitamin C and have never tasted any kind of medicinal intervention ever since.
More than that, I also have discarded the usual trait of old people—sensitive, irritable, petulant and prickly. I am more given to laughter, more hilarity and amusement.
And oh yes, after reaching the senior stage, I am more respectful of time. A day is always seen as precious as an accomplishment. More than that, I am already a grandpa less those physical deformities and qualities that define one. And I look forward to look at life as an adventure filled occasion along with my grandchildren.