In response to Elderly Care: invitation to Write
All of the stories written on this series so far have been good memories and I thought to share a not so pleasant memory.
I loved my uncle Saeed. He was a Sarhang (Colonel?) and in Military and before revolution he retired and got into some side businesses and then later became a full fledged retired person traveling when he could. He had a daughter in London whom he would visit and when she and I were both in Iran and in our teens he married his second wife who was about 16 or 17 years his junior. His first wife went to London a year or two into the revolution and settled there with their family.
He also had a home in Caspians and in summers I'd stay with him for a week or two every now and then. His second wife was nice but also tempermental and you'd see flashes of her throwing a tantrum at my uncle and basically trying to be controlling the more years passed and my uncle became older.
In the past decade when I've been going back to Iran for visits I'd meet them in parties or their home when I visited them. Early on parties were order of the day when I was new and my family and loved ones were up and running but in the past 2 or 3 years no more parties. No soup for you! Actually I like this better, never like to go to parties as much and rather visit places or spend private family time with those who are close and we have some some background with.
Anyway, when I'd visit my uncle I'd see his wife telling him what to do and what not to do, what to eat and what not to eat and so on and so forth. In one of these parties when the host had invited everyone to a chelo-kabobi instead of a party at home my uncle confided in me that god bless you since you're here we're able to go to this chelo-kabobi and I can have a koobideh (ground beef kabob) which I haven't have had for years! I smiled and said to my uncle; enjoy and bon apetite!
Then every year I'd see my uncle's health deteriorate and one year walking with cane and the next year with a walker and very small steps. On occasions his wife would come to our home for visits and my uncle wouldn't come because he was too frail to leave the home and his wife would tell us that she has 'tied' his diaper (which by the way is bad when you 'tie' and not use the velcro, but I guess the elderly open the velcro easily but not the tied strapes) for few hours and has to get back to tend to him.
To her credit she did tend to him and took care of him to the end but watching her boss him around and always complain created a confusing outlook. When she yelled at him in front of us I always thought in private she'd be 10 times as bossy. On few occasions he'd shout out too and retaliate only to watch her yell back that much louder! When he passed away she did everything she could to give him the proper burial and funeral ceremonies and to this day she has kept all his photos around the house but I'll always think about how my uncle was treated or may have been treated in his final years. Taking care of elderly is very hard and not everyone has the patience or willingness to do it the right way. Some do it however they feel like or "think" is right.
They were married for 25 years and I guess the moral of this story is that if you have a younger wife and thought that she'd take care of you in old age, think again, you never know. I can't say everyone is like that, some are better and some are worse but you just don't know how people react in these situations. I wish her well and don't know how her life would be in her old age but more often than not what goes around comes around.
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