The Lie

The Lie

5 mins 497 5 mins 497

May 15th 2014 

The sombre ceremony drew to an end as the teak coffin was clamped shut and lowered into the ground. No trumpets blared and no guns fired.  No one shed any tears and no one cared except me because no one was there. 

With a heavy heart, I turn away and begin the long walk home. As I look at the overcast sky, so grey and unfeeling, I am hit by waves of nostalgia as vivid memories of the day I met her overcome me.


January 1st 2014

Today is my first day at work. I got a new job as a night nurse in a huge skyscraper downtown. The good pay, decent working hours and free lodging and boarding in a luxurious tower made this an impossible offer to refuse. The tower was built by Ms. Nozomi Sasaki a billionaire and a Forbes 100 member for her old ailing mother who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Having a 60 storey skyscraper in Tokyo all to yourself was probably the best gift any Mother could hope for right?  So cool! 

I wonder what this old lady would be like. Alzheimer's patients are usually a big pain to be around. They keep on forgetting things and generally are completely dependent on the nurse for all their daily activities. This job is going to be painful but then again I really need the money. I take a deep breath and enter the main viewing room to meet my patient.

As I enter the huge main viewing room with its luxurious Persian carpets, cream colored walls and huge windows, I see a simply but elegantly dressed old lady looking out of the window at the glittering city lights below. In the moonlight I could see that she was looking down at the spectacle below with a look of profound sadness on her weathered features.

As her nurse, I asked her "Mrs Sasaki is anything the problem? Do you need anything? I am your new nurse Mitsuki."

She turns and looks at me with a smile “Mitsuki! That is a very beautiful name indeed! Perfectly defines a pretty girl like you."

Smiling broadly I ask " Mrs Sasaki do you need some help?"

 "Yes dear girl, Do you know how to use a Mobile phone?"

"Absolutely Ma'am" comes the crisp reply from me.

"Can you tell me what's wrong with my phone" she says and hands her gilded phone to me. 

"Seems to be in perfect working condition Ma'am" 

"Then my sweet girl, why doesn't my darling daughter ever call me? Has she forgotten her old mother?  I want to see her again. My memory is very bad and I can't even recall what she looks like."

I stammer and stutter to reply. I am taken aback by her question. As I look into those deep black eyes masking immeasurable sadness I realize that enormous skyscrapers and stately mansions are a very poor trade for the all the love she has given you and all the sacrifices she has made for you over the years. 

I think to myself that in a world which has become increasingly commercialized and self-obsessed our mothers are the last bastion of unconditional love and selfless sacrifice. They are our confidant, our soul mate and our best friend. They are the masons of the foundation on which our life rests on. The least we can do to repay the debt is to hold their hand when they need it most and be with them in their twilight years just as they were with such during our childhood. 

Tears well up in my eyes I look at the little old lady with the sad eyes.
 She scratches her head and asks me, "Who are you dear girl? Forgive me but I don’t remember seeing you. My memory is really bad, I seem to forget faces quite easily nowadays"

It is apparent to me that her Alzheimer's is quite advanced and the disease will soon overcome her by shutting down her organs one by one. She at least deserves to die in happiness and not in total neglect and sorrow.

I steel my heart, choke back my tears and say “I am Nozomi mother! Don't you remember me? I am back for good Mom! Now I would never go back again."

The sad eyes immediately light up with joy on hearing the lies stumbling out of my mouth.

"Nozomi! Is that you?" 

"Yes mother your Nozomi is back and she will stay with you in this big empty house and we will have fun!"

'A lie for a smile, fair exchange I suppose'.

With this thought in my mind, I smile broadly and kiss her cheek. The lie was bitter. 10 minutes later, she would probably forget me. But for the time being she was lonely no more. She was happy and content and that is all that matters. No person especially someone who has given so much of her own for another, deserves to die, lonely and neglected, with shards of pain in their heart. Everyone deserves to rest in peace. To achieve this objective, I can live with a lie.

Dear friend, as you turn the pages of life, don’t forget about your parents. Turn back the pages sometimes and relive your memories along with your old folks. To keep them happy, you need not build skyscrapers and mansions. To make them smile, just visit them once in a while or at least call them. It is not your riches that they want, what they want is to see your smile, to touch your face and to spend some time with you. For all the huge sacrifices that they have made for you, you owe them that much at the very least. So go! And keep your parents happy and remember that you will be old one day too. Treat your parents as you want to treated. If you treat your parents badly, one day your children would do the same to you. After all, we reap what we sow.

 


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