Yesterday after George and I had a Mother’s Day lunch with my mother-in –law, we visited my father-in-law at an assistive care center.
Pa (father-in-law) has many friends there, and one of them is Eva, a 98-year-old lady. Yesterday she was in a red skirt and a red cardigan wearing a big bow in her neatly braded hair, a beautiful necklace, bracelets, rings, and red manicure: Very cute as usual.
As I said, “How are you?” bending myself close to her, who was in a wheelchair, falling her head down without any expression, she said something like growling, which I couldn’t understand at all. Her daughter who was behind of the wheelchair, interpreted, “She said you look good.” Then as my father-in-law held Eva’s hand, she growled again. This time daughter said,“ She is saying ‘George (my father-in-law) is my Prince Charming’,” and we all laughed.
She can’t walk, dress, or even eat by herself any more. Her life being just in the wheelchair all day long seems not fun at all, but she still knows how to please people saying something nice. I thought again that being happy or not is not based on our circumstances but it’s our choice.
People would come and surround a person like Eva, who is always pleasant, positive, and kind, even if she or he becomes blind, deaf, or loses speech or memory. Cancer or aging, regardless of the cause, when death gets close to us, our bodies deteriorate. Yet, eva encouraged that I can keep smiling, be thankful, and keep praying for someone else until the end even if in a wheelchair or death bed.
Last Saturday our kids and two international students came over to BBQ to celebrate Mother’s Day for me. Feeling great joy, I wanted to never forget the most important thing I have learned in the U.S.: Expressing thanks in words and actions all the time to people and God, just like Eva.