I was sitting alone at Central Station sipping my cappuccino slowly when I saw an elderly man holding a pink back pack on one hand, and the other hand holding his granddaughter’s hand. She’s probably about five year old. They seemed to be waiting for someone. His face was soft and gentle, as if holding her hand is something that gives him the most peaceful feeling in his life.
I can’t help but shed a tear.
Well, I actually cried in the end, one hand holding my paper cup, another hand trying to wipe all the tears that fell.
I looked at this man wondering how much love has bound him and his granddaughter, how much time spent together, and whether the girl would have ran to him for all the things that made her cry, laugh or jump with joy.
Doing what I do, I see many elderly people who became unwell quite suddenly, and before you know it, they leave this world. So I can’t help but wonder, how much time together do they have left.
Will this girl be mature enough to understand, when one day her grandpa has to leave? Or will he be lucky enough to be alive and well to see her grow up, graduate or even get married? Will he always be the one she turns to when she has doubts about herself or about life?
* * *
I have seen so many elderly cancer patients come and go throughout my career, some I remember more than the others. I have spoken to them as if they were my own grandparents. I had joy sitting with them over the weekends while they shared their life stories. It gave me peace to see families coming together to care for their loved ones, even more when they are old and frail.
There’s something about these grandparents that warms me up inside, but I can’t really tell what it is. Perhaps it’s from their stories. Perhaps it’s the years of experience that has soften them up.
Or maybe they just reminded me of my own grandparents, whom I love and miss to no end.