Wednesday, April 01, 2009

My father is in his early seventies and recently has had to undergo some major dental work. He has never been slim. As far as memory serves me, he has always carried around a pot belly with him. But in the last couple of months he had lost a whole load of weight because the dental work has seriously affected his ability to eat normally. My aunt said he'd wanted to come visit and see the kids a month ago, but she advised him against it cos she was afriad he might frighten the kids.

His face now looks sunken, body shrivelled, his whole person has somehow been disfigured. I now see a fragile, vulnerable old man.

Which is what I will look like one day. If I get to live that long, that is.

When my mum was sick with cancer, living out her final days in a hospital bed some quarter of a century ago, she didn't want us kids to see her, either. She thought she would scare us.

Now, honestly, it is not so much how my mum and dad look like that could scare me. It is the thought that they thought they would scare me, that I find scary.

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