The phone showed no sign of any missed call or message. Grandpa waited for the screen to light up. It’s been days since he had used it. The chair made a horrible noise when he dtagged it across the room to his table where he writes his diary. He opened his diary with one hand, shaking a pen with the other. The wretched thing never worked, he always had to shake it to make out work. He loved to read his previous memories from the diary before he wrote new ones. The date showed 11th February and the last memory he wrote was on 28th Jan. He scratched his head with his pen and started to wonder why he didn’t write anything all these days. The Alzheimer’s was clearly eating all his memories fully and senses slowly. His hand shivered while he wrote. Two lines later, he looked back at the bookshelf, where his phone was to see if the phone was ringing. Nope, it didn’t. He closed his diary, slid the pen into the drawer and stood up very slowly. His knee pains were getting worse every day. He staggered out to the main hall with his cane supporting him.
Heidi ran to him and hugged him tight. “Grandpa! It’s story time. You promised me to tell me one from the wars.” she said joyfully. “Ah, yes my dear, c’mon let’s sit in the backyard so that I can get some fresh air.” Grandpa smiled at the little girl. Both of them walked into the backyard. He had to tell the girl something that he no longer remembered. He barely remembers what he did a few hours ago. No matter what he forgot, the only thing he remembered was waiting for the phone call. Heidi ran around grandpa requesting him to tell her a story. He was getting restless and annoyed yet he stopped the girl and calmy told her that he wanted some water and then he’d tell her the story.
There were many people in the backyard that day. All the rooms were filled with people, old people, his friends who were here to wish him on his birthday. Most of them, he barely knows. By the time Heidi was back, grandpa fell asleep on the chair near the tree. Grandpa opened his eyes to a star studded sky, the moon shining in all it’s radiance. He struggled his way back to his room to find his phone to see if there were any calls for him. He saw Heidi angry for some reason he doesn’t remember, nonetheless, he smiled at her. All the people have left. He didn’t cut the cake but everybody ate the cake, cutting it themselves. There were a few wine glasses on the table.
Grandpa took his diary and checked it again. He looked at the digital clock on the wall to see the date. He didn’t want to write that day. It was dinner time. Heidi called grandpa out to the dining table. He walked into the hall where his food was waiting for him.
“Did I get any calls?” He looked like an abandoned child when he asked the maid. “It’s been a year since they called.” The maid said, walking back into the kitchen. She sounded careless “You spoiled your kids when they were kids. You gave them too much freedom and look where you are now. This is an old age home and you don’t get to give me orders. I have so much work to do. Eat quickly and get back to bed.” Grandpa was hurt, “you are so careless!” He yelled. “So are your sons and daughters. Just eat your food and go inside. You’re not the only one here.” She yelled back.
Grandpa pushed the plate aside and went into his room. He was in his bed, staring at his family photo, taken about thirty years ago with teary eyes.
Time has changed, so did people. A good night’s sleep would make him forget everything. Everything but his sadness.
Elders deserve our love, respect and care as well. Let’s not let them be somewhere else.