Sunday, January 18, 2009

growing old 老年 (2)

I have a motorcycle which I seldom use. I used it for errant in town on weekends only.(to beat traffic jam).

This evening, I took the motorcycle out for a warm-up round my housing estate. I met Mr. Puspanathan (64), my BEC member. He was out for a walk with a walking stick.

Mr. Puspanathan worked as a security guard. He worked hard and brought up four children. His eldest daughter is a lawyer, second son an accountant and third daughter a teacher. His youngest son has just completed Form Six.

One day 5 years ago, while he was travelling on his company van, it was banged by a lorry. The van caught fire. He escaped with severe injuries - broken legs and bones.

He retired on medical ground and remained home bound for more than three years. Walking was painful for him. His legs were supported by steel rods.

About nine months ago, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He underwent chemotherapy. Lately, lumps formed on his neck. Currently he is undergoing radiotherapy to shrink the lumps.

"I am suffering.."

"Are you in pain?"

"No, but I am suffering. I asked God to take me away.."

"But you looked OK.., in fact looked better than before.."

"That is what every body said. But I am suffering... I have no peace..I know I will have to suffer pain..."

"You have undergone chemotherapy. You survived. You have no pain... you should enjoy life everyday...."

"Thank God I have no pain. I heard this cancer will make you suffer.."

"Don't think so much... you have no pain, you can walk... your son and a daughter have got married. You should be happy."

"I slogged so hard my whole life. Most of the time my meal was two pieces of Roti Chanai and a teh-O. No holiday, no leave. Now supposed to enjoy life but you see.... cancer. I am suffering.. I cannot enjoy..."

"You have no can walk, you can eat..."

"Yes, lately my appetite is very good!"

"See, you should be enjoying life... every day. Don't think so much. So far, God have blessed you. Leave it to God when he wants to take you away. Just enjoy life everyday! You are not suffering from any pain but your mind is suffering because you think too much unnecessarily!"

"Yes, I thanked God for having no pain but here (pointing to his own head) is pain...! You see my cancer has spread every where....." (pointing to his neck).

"Do you smoke?"

"Yes, very heavy! I started smoking when I was 15. My mother told me to smoke."


"Yes. Because I got toothache, my mother told me to puff on a cigarette and hold the smoke in the month... to kill the worm. That's how I got hooked to smoking"

"For now, don't worry how the cancer has spread. Just be thankful, enjoy everyday, don't think so much, trust in God... take care"

"Thanks. So happy I come out to walk. I meet so many people... can meet you also. Bye".

Mr. Puspanathan was very reluctant to come out of the house after the accident. I am happy to see him come out to exercise. He looks better, happier- surprisingly, after he has been diagnosed with lung cancer.

May God gives him strength and courage to face the challenges ahead.

WARNING : Smoking is the single biggest cause of cancer in the world
, and accounts for one in four UK cancer deaths.

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