Aging is a process in our lives that everyone dreads going through. Having our hair turn grey, developing unsightly wrinkles, and gaining weight in places we never imagined are factors constantly compiling in our minds. However, in paying much of our attention to these superficial factors, we often neglect to recognize the aspects that are deeper within us and will have a greater impact in the end. The complex state of being unaware how to behave, whom to turn to, and feeling useless can wreak a major toll on our lives. However, enduring all this and also being alone can truly drain the last ounce of life we are left with in the end.
My grandmother is one of the unfortunate individuals that has reached this unbearable stage in her life. Everything that she begins to engage in soon becomes a chore for her. The Indian dramas that captivate my parents become like watching the news. Knitting and sewing become monotonous duties she must fulfill. Even yelling at her grandchildren to turn the volume down doesn't hold the same magnitude it once did. Uninterested in engaging in any conversation with anyone or being engrossed in anything anyone talks about, my grandmother seeks solace in her bed, finding peace in being alone without anyone by her side to bother her. Some may interpret this as independence, and others lonesomeness, but all I blame when I see her depressed state of mind is her age.
Witnessing my grandmother waking up every day with not her family by her side, with not her friends by her side, but instead a nurse whom she has no prior connection with brings me to tears. Unable to braid her own hair, bathe herself, go to the bathroom, or even make a simple cup of chai without any assistance, my grandmother is feeble and quite frankly, vulnerable. Her nurse, her savior, her liberator comes to my house everyday in order to give my grandmother hope to live a normal life again; performing the duties every human being should be able to do on their own. However, despite the efforts the nurse puts forth, I am still able to see a sense of solitude as I pear in my grandmas' eyes. It isn't that she's unwilling to take down her guard and let anyone in her life or that she has a strong sense of independence, but moreover condition of health she lies in. As our lives progress, our age increases, and our health digresses. Suffocated by the amount of medications she takes daily and the addition of pills prescribed to her with every visit to the doctor's, she doesn't know how to live her life anymore. Yes, she may smile and speak in a higher-toned voice when one of her grandchildren approaches her, but as I lay in bed across the room from her at night, I am surrounded by the sounds of her whispers talking to herself and constantly going to the bathroom, with nothing beside her but her own misery.
Sometimes I find myself buried in tears, crying not because I feel sorry for her or feel helpless, but because I wish she could express some emotion, any emotion, she must feel inside. As we plow through life, becoming old is a worry constantly on our minds. Realizing that no one deserves to endure this pain, this sense of helplessness, I aspire to become a physician assistant in order to not only ease the pain of those who are going through this physically, but also to try and be there for them mentally. I aim to make them realize that although prescriptions can always help to live a longer life, prescriptions don't solely help live a life of better quality, like John Lennon said, "All you need is love."