I want to remember a life lived well.
Start writing a post
Student Life

A Small Visit Taught Me Not To Stress The Small Stuff

Seniors taught me to take life one day at a time.

A Small Visit Taught Me Not To Stress The Small Stuff

My mother likes planning trips for us on Sundays. Even with two college-going daughters and a son who's getting ready for middle school, she's determined to continue and do her part for our "moral education." Our day trips aren't nice little jaunts to the Houston zoo or NASA's space museum.

One week, it was visiting a refugee family; another it was helping out at a food bank distribution.

Last Sunday, she'd arranged for us to visit a women in a senior living community; both were Pakistani, like us, which my mother obviously considered enough common ground. When we got to the community, there were some things I noticed that really lifted my heart.

For one, everyone was smiling and there were seniors out in the halls being wheeled or walking with the help of canes; the smiling and laughter was contagious—we approached the room of the lady we'd come to visit with much more positive vibes.

The women were in bed, their quarters separated by a thick curtain. The woman we'd come to visit was evidently outgoing and extroverted; she made efforts to sit up when she saw we'd come to visit and was obviously in the mood to chat. She seemed especially concerned that we all sit down, face her and talk to her, reiterating that it got lonely because there was never anyone around to talk to.

The nurses didn't speak Urdu and the woman had never learned English, so life was a constant run of waiting for visitors, eating meals and watching television. My sister noticed a schedule of events posted for the benefit of the seniors and asked if she ever attended those, but the woman seemed lackluster about the events.

She had come to America with her son and raised him here as a widow, earning money through stitching and altering fabrics. When he married an American-born girl, he moved his mother to the community, but in her eyes, he could do no wrong.

She shone with pride as she talked about him and his fancy job and how he still came to visit. "He realizes it," she emphasized, as if we'd been questioning his motives, "He realizes how much I've done for him."

It made me appreciate how much my own parents are constantly doing for me.

For myself, though, I hope neither of my parents ever have to step foot inside a senior living community except as visitors. Whatever happens, they raised me in a home full of family and love, and I hope they always receive this blessing throughout their lives.

No matter how many events the community holds, however well-intentioned they are––and truly, they make incredible efforts and are doing amazing—I want my parents to know they deserve the best. Whatever else happens, I can't believe this outcome is the best my siblings and I can do for them, especially after everything they've given us and continue to give us.

Another thing that struck me was how much of her life she'd seemed to have forgotten—if she fought with her siblings, what she did when she lived in Pakistan, what her favorite foods were.

We spend so much of our life obsessing and second-checking our every minor life decision and mini-issue. One day, maybe I won't even remember what went on in this part of my life. We talk about memories like they're unbreakable, but in the end, do we choose what memories we keep and which stay with us?

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less
a man and a woman sitting on the beach in front of the sunset

Whether you met your new love interest online, through mutual friends, or another way entirely, you'll definitely want to know what you're getting into. I mean, really, what's the point in entering a relationship with someone if you don't know whether or not you're compatible on a very basic level?

Consider these 21 questions to ask in the talking stage when getting to know that new guy or girl you just started talking to:

Keep Reading...Show less

Challah vs. Easter Bread: A Delicious Dilemma

Is there really such a difference in Challah bread or Easter Bread?

loaves of challah and easter bread stacked up aside each other, an abundance of food in baskets

Ever since I could remember, it was a treat to receive Easter Bread made by my grandmother. We would only have it once a year and the wait was excruciating. Now that my grandmother has gotten older, she has stopped baking a lot of her recipes that require a lot of hand usage--her traditional Italian baking means no machines. So for the past few years, I have missed enjoying my Easter Bread.

Keep Reading...Show less

Unlocking Lake People's Secrets: 15 Must-Knows!

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.

Group of joyful friends sitting in a boat
Haley Harvey

The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people.

Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Top 10 Reasons My School Rocks!

Why I Chose a Small School Over a Big University.

man in black long sleeve shirt and black pants walking on white concrete pathway

I was asked so many times why I wanted to go to a small school when a big university is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a big university is great but I absolutely love going to a small school. I know that I miss out on big sporting events and having people actually know where it is. I can't even count how many times I've been asked where it is and I know they won't know so I just say "somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin." But, I get to know most people at my school and I know my professors very well. Not to mention, being able to walk to the other side of campus in 5 minutes at a casual walking pace. I am so happy I made the decision to go to school where I did. I love my school and these are just a few reasons why.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments