How are you?

Saturday 9 July 2011
3 very simple words. But how many of us actually pause to hear the reply? How many of us use it as a form of greeting and call out as we hurriedly walk past? I'm not one to cast the first stone as I'm just as guilty. As I walked home earlier today, I saw a disabled woman in a wheelchair sitting on the roadside looking extremely despondent as cars and pedestrians went passed without a second thought. I watched as an acquaintance of hers called out "you alright?" but dashed off without hearing her answer, "no".

I've walked past this nursing home hundreds of times but never stopped to chat to the residents who often sat by the carpark. I went over and asked if she was alright. It turned out that her best friend died a few days ago. She hadn't been able to sleep since. She asked why her only friend that she'd grown up with had to die. She missed her so much. She was heartbroken. The funeral is on Monday. Will the pain ever go away? Why? Why?

These are difficult questions to answer. Will the pain ever truly go away? Probably not. They will fade albeit a little at a time. I've never stopped missing my grandmother nor friends who'd passed away too young. Nonetheless, life goes on. Family members to look after. And soon, there will be new memories both happy and sad taking precedence over old ones. I asked if she would like me to pray for her. She smiled and said yes. As I got up and left, I glanced over and saw that she looked happier because someone had taken the time to listen. I've learned an important lesson today. Stop and listen. It didn''t cost me anything but it meant the world to her.


  1. I absolutely believe that our communities are neglecting the older populations. On my visits to the rest home, I seldom see other visitors, makes you wonder if some of the residents' families ever come to visit them.

  2. I agree. There's also the other side: when to answer honestly. I find the phrase has been so ritualized than a sincere answer is no longer desired. Or is it that I'm growing older? As the years pass by, I wonder more and more why it's so difficult to connect with others in everyday life.

  3. You have a kind heart. Love this post.
    Doing something for others, even if it is as little as listening to them for a few minutes, makes a big difference.
    The pain of losing someone you love deeply never really fades away, but we can learn to live with it. It is part of life, and we have to embrace the bad and the good.

  4. Chin, the staff at the nursing home I went to back home told me that most of the residents haven't seen their families in a decade.

    AA, I think most of the time,we have so much going on in our lives that we rather not deal with others' problems.

    Ping, I am very touched by your compliment. Thank you for taking the time to write. Your kind words mean a lot to me. I fumbled my way through the different html codes and blogger settings till I found one that suits me the most.

    Lily, thank you! *hugs* I'm ashamed when I think how often I hurried past hoping not to make any eye contact. It has been a good lesson for me. You're absolutely right. The loss of loved ones will never been forgotten but such is life.

  5. Thanks Li for touching on this issue . I hope your inspiring subject will touch a lot of hearts .Di used to help do some repair work for free for some 80+ yrs
    living alone . He said he hope one day someone will do likewise for him !!
    Love you :D

  6. That was a lovely thing you did - time and a few words of authentic care and concern are the best gifts we can give!

  7. Mi, Di's always been very thoughtful. A man of few words but his action certainly speaks louder. Love you both!

    Terri , right back at you. (hugs)

    Lauraloo, the lady with a heart of gold. I bet you've done the same.

  8. What a great post. We can never be reminded too many times to take the time to say a kind word to somebody.

  9. You're absolutely right, The Blonde. Couldn't agree more.

  10. Thanks for taking the time to blog about this. I feel that our lives just get busier, and it gets so much harder to stop and listen. (We don't take time to "stop and smell the roses" anymore.) And you're right, it doesn't cost a thing but can be so priceless to someone else. xo, sam

  11. A really sweet post ... thank you for sharing! :)
    S in NY



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