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My Attachment to the Old

I’ve always had a soft spot for old people. It’s my belief that hurt anyone else but children and old folks. My father is eighty-three. This is where my attachment to anyone above seventy comes from. I love old people the way I love my father.

On a recent trip to Singapore, my mother and I got into a cab driven by a very old man. Most likely he was the same age as my dad and still he worked. Not once did I feel concerned for my safety. I immediately felt comfortable riding in his cab. I told him where we needed to go. Generally, I thought the hotel we stayed at was well-known. But when I mentioned the hotel to our cab driver, he didn’t know. He got this look on his face like my dad would get when he was struggling to understand something.

This tugged at my heart. I actually felt tears well up. I just wanted to reach out and hug him.

Instead, I mentioned a popular destination near the hotel and he immediately got it.

Happiness all around, we were on our way. It didn’t even bother me that we were driving really slowly. I figured, better to see the sights. This is why I got to take the picture on display in this post. Lots of trees in Singapore.

Then, as we neared our hotel, I began thinking: did this old man have someone who loved him? Why were they still letting him work? He should be relaxing, enjoying the final years of his life. But, then again, maybe driving a cab on a daily basis in the streets of Singapore made him happy.

Another, sadder, thought hit me. What if he had no one and driving a cab was his only way of providing for himself. This thought broke my heart fifty million ways. I love my dad. He loves his life. We take care of him; make sure he never wants for anything like he used to provide everything we could ever want when we were young. He’s always the first person on our minds when we leave the house to watch a movie or have lunch. We always make sure we bring him home something. Food. Even his absolute favorite: a box of chocolates.

I wondered: did the old man driving the cab have someone thinking of him that way?

When my mom and I got out of the cab, we paid him more than the fare. It felt like the right thing to do. I honestly didn’t want to leave that cab. The irrational part of me wanted to take him home and make sure he was taken cared off. I wanted to make sure he was okay. That someone loved him.

I prayed really hard that he had someone in his life who loved him. Who woke up every day remembering him. Who cooked for him. Who made sure he was alright.

Even now, as I write this post, I still think of him. I wonder if he’s doing fine. If he’s well fed. If he has a warm bed to sleep at night. That even if driving a cab made him feel useful and happy, I wished he didn’t have to anymore.

I don’t know why I’m crying as I type this, but I really wish I could know where that old man cab driver is now. I really wish I could help him the way I help my dad with everything he needs on a daily basis.

In the back of my mind, I picture him having a huge family who loved him very much. I imagine a brood of grandkids of made him laugh. Kids that made him proud. A wife that loved him with everything she had. That’s the way I want to think of him because the alternative just kills me.

Universe, please let him be okay. Please make sure that he, wherever he is, is loved. Please make it so that he doesn’t have to drive a cab anymore. That there is someone who can take care of him. So that he can relax and do other things that makes him happy. Please, universe. Please let him be okay.

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