They say blood is thicker than water; a saying that signifies family bond is stronger and much more important than other relationships. In that case, how come nowadays, people have the guts to abandon their own family members. The abandonment usually concerns the elderly who are being dumped by their own children; either sent to an old folk’s home or left to live all alone. Who would have the heart to do such a thing? I find it sad when people think of their parents as more of a burden than a blessing. One experience I will never forget is when I joined a group of Sg. Ramal Dalam’s community members who organized a visit to a private elderly home last year on Sunday, 10th July 2011.
I am not writing about my personal experience but it is my personal encounter of a real experience with a lady named, Madam Muji Hj. Sulaiman who has overcome the challenges of opening up and running a house for the elderly. She is the owner of ‘Rumah Jagaan & Rawatan Orang Tua Al-Ikhlas’ which is located in Puchong, Selangor. She worked as a staff nurse at Serdang Hospital for several years and has seen a lot of cases regarding the elderly. In many cases, when the old people were discharged from the hospital there was no one; no family members, no relatives to bring them back home. For that reason, Madam Muji was determined to open up a home to cater these unfortunate souls.
In the middle of her trial in opening the old folk’s home, she found out she had stage-four breast cancer which she believed would put her life at stake since she had seen patients die fighting this terrible disease. Later, she went to Makkah al-Mukarramah to perform the umrah and she told us that she prayed to Allah to make her life longer so that she will be able to fulfill her dream in helping the abandoned elderly and to make the old folks home a triumph. Her strong will power touched me because even though she was suffering from breast cancer, she was still determined to help others. Maybe she felt they were in the same boat as her. By Allah’s decree, Madam Muji recovered from the disease that she faced for quite some time. She is a survivor!
She also told me that there is a need for an Islamic elderly home for Muslims and that is why she persuaded herself to open up the old folk’s home. This is because, nowadays there aren’t many homes for the elderly that are run by Muslims and during the last moments of their lives, Muslims ought to spend their time worshiping The Almighty. Besides that, they need a lot of spiritual input to make them feel happy and to be well prepared to face death. The elderly home even has a mosque in its compounds. In Islam, it is not our prayers are not limited only for our parents, but to others as well. We should act with boundless compassion, remembering that we were helpless children once and always bear in mind that ‘one mother can take care of ten children but ten children may not be able to take care of one mother’.
Whatever we do in life we must have a strong determination in order to be successful and do something that will be meaningful to others and ourselves. It was an amazing experience spending time with the old folks and hearing Madam Muji’s extraordinary story of her life’s ups and downs. I realized that the visit had given me a big impact as a child and as a student because it made me more appreciative of my parents sacrifices even my lecturers and school teachers in order to see me excel in life.
*I misplaced my pen drive somewhere :( So I can't upload the pictures that I took at the old folks home. Gggrrrrr! Luckily I found the two pictures above in my mom's laptop :D
PEN DRIVE HUNTING!