A role model, for the younger generation, aging, with grace, translated…
While I was still a child, I’d thought, that thirty-five is old, and as I’d arrived to this age, I’d felt, that fifty is old; and now, I’m, knocking on fifty, I’d felt, that midlife, isn’t really, that old at all. What’s meant by elderly, I suppose, it’s, over seventy! By then, I would’ve totally become, visually impaired, slowly immobilized, and can only, move around and about closer to my house, and I won’t be able to, go around as I’m doing right now.
And still, since I’d started keeping a vegetable garden at Danshui, and gotten to know my next door neighbor, Aunty Chen, it’d, given me, a whole other interpretation of what being elderly meant.
like this elderly woman, NOT my photograph…
At age seventy-something, Auntie Chen was once, the owner of a printing factory. She’d worked very hard through the years, and saved up some money, and lost it all in the last economic downturn, she’d started, living in regrets, until a friend asked her to keep a vegetable garden, that, was when she finally saw the light back into her own life.
Through planting the vegetables, Aunty Chen realized, that although there are, storms in nature, so long as you don’t get too greedy, you wouldn’t lose too much; on the contrary, so long as you put all your heart into planting, what you’d gained in your harvests, are way more than what you’d put in, that the gains are, better than ALL of the possible stock and options. Take for instance, her passion fruits, last year, the weather was weird, a lot of the fruit farmers didn’t have good harvests, but, her trees were, fruitful.
But, if you think that she’d slaved herself, to grow enough produce, then, you are, DEAD wrong. She has a group of girlfriends her age, which she’d called on, to go hiking with, to travel with; yesterday, I’d visited her in her garden, Aunty Chen told me, that today and tomorrow, she’s planning to go on a trip to Taidong, to hike the Dulang Mountains.
keeping active is one way to stay healthy in the elderly years, NOT my photograph…
Every now and then, Auntie Chen would volunteer at the not-for-profit organizations, like she has extra arms, and so, from before, imagine how shocked I was, when she’d told me, that she’s not, in good health.
Seeing how Aunty Chen in her seventies, still very active in her life, I’d gained, a different vision, for my own elderly years now.
So, this elderly woman, is a role model, for how this writer want to grow old to become, and this woman has a positive outlook for her own elderly years, filled up her schedule with tons of activities she enjoyed, that, is why she’s, fulfilled, even though she’s now, retired.