How retired elderly service persons are still, quite active, sharing their lives, in a nursing home, translated…
That day, as I received a call from, He, a female friend, the who’d served on the entertainment committee, she invited me to the Mid-Autumn Festival Barbecue. I’d told her, “I really don’t like barbecues, but I should go and visit you”, so I’d, brought some foods, some beer, went to the address she gave me.
There are two locations for the veteran’s retirement homes, those who’d not been receiving their life-long retirement pensions are living in the one in Taoyuan, those who are receiving the pensions are in Bade, the couples can live together, but, with the increased number of deaths, there are, a lot of those, who’d, stayed in the bigger families of the home.
There was a seventy-two year old veteran who’d, led me to the barbecue place, he’d been here four years now, he’d stopped headed out to the functions three years ago, and, last year, as he’d, broken his legs, he’d, disliked moving around even more, but since He arrived, because she’s, infectious with her optimism, he’d, changed his mind and gone to many of the functions.
let’d do some simple exercises together! Photo from online
Because there are the servers who’d, barbecued the foods, then served it to us, I’d, listened to the performance of music, and eaten the food, and chit chatted on everything, and nothing with everybody around me. So, this, is how the other half lives, these people who are, closing in on their terminal stations, showed their energies, and became, more active in life. This sort of a life, it’s way better than being alone at home, they’d played croquet, visited with the neighbors, had a set routine for life, with the medical staff, taking care of them, it seemed, all right.
An elderly in his eighties, with an accordion in hand, started playing, He told me, this was a general who’d served in Kinmen before, he’d let go of his status in the service, came here, and helped others, nobody “reported” to him, called him “Sir”, nobody saluted him either, at this age, only letting go of one’s own status quo, will one be able to live on comfortably.
The captain of the croquet team is a man who used to live abroad who’d returned back home, after he’d retired from the services, he’d, worked hard, and now, he’d, led everybody to play croquet, he’d said, he’d rather share his joys of the game, than play it alone. He has embolism, and had over a dozen surgeries on his legs, he’d, pointed to those zipper-like scars covering his legs, told, every time he’d felt his legs get colder, he’d, packed his bags, and, reported to the hospital, thankfully, he’d found a ton of warmth, and a ton of joys in the retirement homes.
The songs never stopped, there’s, “Waiting Like a Fool”, “A Pass into the Country”, “Boat Song”, “Thyme”………all of these, are symbols of a particular era; there were the husbands and wives who’d, started dancing, and this scene signified, how they’re all, slowly, exiting the summers of their lives, entering into the autumns, it’s as if, I see those fallen leaves, getting swept up by the wind, running around, and then, getting dropped back down, and not knowing, where those leaves will, end up finally.
The white strands of hair, their, slightly bent over backs, their slow movements, last year, there were, ten elders sitting at the next table, and this year, only two left, with the newcomers entering in. “Autumn, slowly, waited………” how long, can they, linger on, it depends on the individuals’ health conditions, turned out, this place where the elderly comes to spend their final days, is so filled with life.
As the weather turned cooler, the sent of autumn grew stronger. As for the winters of their lives, should be spent in the hospitals, laying on the beds, with the assortments of machines, gadgets, needles, connecting to the bodies.
And so, this, is an alternative sort of a place, a retirement village, and yet, nobody in this place seemed to have been, “retired” at all, they’re, socializing, living their elderly years, to their, fullest possible potential, continuing to socialize with those other residents.