Posted by: tituteo | July 13, 2005

A Life Worth Living

This is a story about a lady. I’ll call her Sea. For the strength the waters can create, and the calm it can maintain. Sea is a middle aged lady. She is divorced and has 2 sons. Both in their teens. They lived in a large house and lead a lavish life. All thanks to the money she got from the divorce. It’s not that she doesn’t love him anymore. She just could not stand the frequent traveling, the lack of communication between them, and maybe, the autocratic and chauvinistic ways of the husband. After the divorce, she kept the kids, and he visited regularly. Buying her things for the house. Being man of the house, though not really belonging there. Some years later, he remarried. But the visits did not stop.

A few months ago, Sea was diagnosed with cancer. And the story starts here. The doctor gave her not long to live. Maybe a month, maybe two. She needed 24 hours care. Her very own mother was ‘busy’, had to go chant sutras at the temples. Her siblings were ‘busier’. Her kids? One, the elder one, was ’scared’ to see her dropping hair and sunken face. That left the ex-husband to care for her. Not that he still loved her. Maybe he does, but that will mean he doesn’t love his current wife. I suppose it’s just his responsibility. Sea’s the mother of his children. And so he paid for all her medical expenses. about $100,000 in all. He had to beg the family to visit her. Going to the extent of booking hotel rooms (initially it was an apartment. But they complained about the not-up-to-standard condition! So he had to book hotels)near the hospital, so they could take turns looking after her and resting at the hotel during intervals. They enjoyed the hotel facilities. But forgot to visit.

When Sea was brought home to live out her last days, her mother, who was staying with her after the divorce, claimed herself ‘busy’ again. And so the ex-husband employed 2 maids, to take turns to look after her. He bought her stereo sets, for the living room and her bedroom. So she’ll enjoy her TV shows while she’s home all day. He got her a massage chair, so she can relax and circulate her blood flow. He bought her everything that’ll just make her life happier. Oh. Her siblings? They visited her of course! Came and went. Together with the stereo sets, massage chairs, even the corningware in the kitchen, and the MagicClean broom in the closet!

A few days after Sea passed away, the ex-husband received a call from the bank. Someone has been withdrawing money from her bank account daily for the past month. Maxing the transaction each day. Taking $75,000 in all up till then. Oh, it must be the family. During the whole seven days of funeral wake, her mother was lying on Sea’s bed, enjoying what is left of her lavish room. Suddenly no longer busy, no more chanting needed. On the 7th day, the brother said to the ex-husband, we’ve got to sit down and talk about the house, the kids and our mother. (”OUR” when it’s not his mother?)

It seems like Sea has requested for a will to be drawn up. But non of the siblings were willing to help. Well, for obvious reasons. Without the will, they could simply help themselves to the money in her bank (which her mother has the PIN). And they could expect to keep her big house since her kids are too young to own it. And the mother? Well, she could continue to ‘care’ for the kids and not ‘burden’ the rest of them. Lucky for the kids, Sea had the ex-husband get her a lawyer. And in the presence of a doctor, she drew up her will. Just one week before she passed away. In it, she left a small portion to her mother, to be used for medical purposes when she’s old. And all the rest to the two children. The siblings? They’ve got nothing out of her. The End.

It saddens me when I hear such things. Where is the love? What is kinship? What is conscience? I’ll leave you to ponder. Is this a life worth living? Do we have to wait till on our deathbed that we see the true colors of the human race?

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