An elderly man’s finding closure to his own past through telling the tales of his own younger years, translated…
Some of the elderly had gone through the wars when they were young, and they’d stated often, “We’d gone through the bloodbaths of war, what else had we not seen yet?”, and, there was an elderly man with gastric cancer on the hospital beds, he was one of those who fought in the war and retreated to Taiwan (he didn’t say it was “retreat” though), carrying on in his soldier mannerisms, after he’d learned that he was in the terminal stage of his gastric cancer, he’d refused to eat. And so, the hospitals called on the social workers to help get him to eat something.
The Stories that Even His Wife Didn’t Know
“Hi, grandpa, is there something that’s bugging you that’s made you not want to eat?”, the social worker asked.
He’d ignored, and the very first time they’d met, it’d ended, quickly. The second time the social worker visited, the elderly man still refused to disclose, and the social worker couldn’t get anything else out of him either.
By the third time, the social worker didn’t know how to break the ice, and so, she’d told the elderly, “There’s a wish fulfillment activity I’d just hosted in another ward, I’d helped a patient to fulfill his last wishes.”
“What about the last wishes?”, the elderly man finally, asked.
“It was an ailing young man, without much time left, but he’d, loved this song, and we’d, used the song, to set up an activity for him.”
The social worker quickly told the ins and outs of the activities, as he finished the elderly woman close by said, “Grandpa loved to sing too, although he’d originated from China, but he’d loved singing those Taiwanese tunes such as ‘The Connections Between Needle & Thread’, ‘Pillow for Two’, etc., etc., etc., he’s really good at singing these songs.” the elderly woman stayed by the elderly man, and she looked and seemed kind.
“Grandpa, would you like to sing it now?”, the social worker prodded.
“I want to sing another Chinese oldies by Lei Hsieh, ‘Sending the Words Through the Clouds’…”
He’d scratched his head, cleared his throat, then started singing, “Even if it was the past, every now and then, you would get reminded, of something worthwhile, during those days we were very close to each other………”
“Grandpa, you have an amazing voice”, the social worker applauded.
“I want to tell you a story, a story that even my wife doesn’t know.” having opened up, the elderly man pretended to make his voice less than audible.
“Being Listened to” is a Very Important Thing
Back then, he’d, enlisted into the national government’s army, and after the war, the tensions were building up, and the army wanted them to transfer to Taiwan, and he’d used what time he had to go see his fiancée, told her, “Come, come, the army is leaving, let’s go together!”
After all they were both, too young, and the girl just cried unstop, and so, the elderly man can only tell her, “It’s late, I’ll go now then”, and since, he’d been, separated from his own fiancée from across the straits, and he’d, started a new family here in Taiwan.
“Although my children aren’t especially outstanding, but they’d followed the laws, it’s just, that I couldn’t quite, let go of my fiancée back in China, and so, as I’d sung ‘Sending the Words Through the Clouds’, I’d gotten, reminded of her.”, the elderly stated passionately, and, his eyes grew, misty.
At this time, the elderly man is already in his seventies, and he couldn’t let go of the girl he was in love with from across the strait, and, it’s clear, that he’d, needed to resolve this unresolved issue at this final stage of his life.
After the elderly told his tale, he’d finally, felt better, it was, the secret he’d, buried, too deeply, inside of himself.
As the social worker heard, he’d, immediately asked the elderly woman close by, “After you’d heard this experience from your husband, will you………”
The elderly woman smiled, and said, that although it was the very first time she’d heard him told of this, “But it’s, all in the past, I’m grateful toward grandpa, for looking after me and my family after we married.”
The stories when we were young, it may have been, tragic, caused by the ears in time, and yet, having the stories told aloud again to be listened to, is something quite important, this being listened to meant validifying the values of one’s life, and verification of one’s own existence, and even if the events of life didn’t, quite work out, at least, you’d had the chance, to tell it out, and slowly, you will be able to, let go of the regrets connected with the events.
And so, this, is on how important it is, to have someone to listen to you, to not pass any judgment on what you’re telling, because we ALL have secrets, ghosts in our pasts that haunted us, and, we all need an outlet, for everything that’s happened to us, up to this current moment in our lives.