The Forsaken

Her smile once made many swoon
Now it was endearing in its diffidence
Her hair was salt and pepper and curly
Her face was wrinkled and full of character
Her back was still ramrod despite its years
Her toothless smile was warm n beckoning
She was the doyen of her family
Three generations under the same roof

The patriarch, her counterpart and mate
Was frail of body but sharp of mind
Having lived countless summers
His flesh had become quite weak
Yet his spirit was indomitable
His courage refusing to accept defeat
From the wracking pain of his sick body
He was a storehouse of pills of all sizes!

They had nurtured their two sons lovingly
Making many sacrifices to provide for them
Going almost threadbare to clothe them
Feed them n give them the best of education
This head start in life was their gift to their sons
Who flourished and became successful overnight
With their blessing n soon had families themselves
Their better halves hailing from good backgrounds.

The son’s wives had their own individuality
Different styles and norms of functioning
Old rules, regulations and routines became passe
The reins had changed hands with the change of guard
The older generation was now relegated to the backseat
The grandparents well- meaning advice and suggestions
Were soon considered interference and became unacceptable
And the sons unable to defend them asked them to leave!

The old couple gathered the remnants of their dignity
Hugged the little ones and bade tearful good-byes
They had to restart with the old man needing constant care
They were defenseless yet unbowed by this blow of fate
Their own flesh and blood had betrayed n forsaken them
They found haven in the shelter for the homeless
Living bravely without bitterness, freely giving out love
To all the needy n bereft who made them feel wanted n cherished!

Now during these twilight years at the fag end of life, happily
They watched it ebb away, moment to moment, inch by inch…..

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.-Mother Teresa
1910-1997, Albanian-born Roman Catholic Missionary

The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is young.-Oscar Wilde  1856-1900, British Author, Wit

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