This article has caused many to reflect on their own lives. The author is a retired writer, and she expressed emotion when she was about to go to a nursing home.
(Originally written in Chinese)
I’m going to a nursing home. I have to. When life gets to where you are no longer able to take care of yourself completely, your children are busy at work and have to take care of their children and have no time to take care of you, this seems to be the only way out.
The nursing home is in good condition, with clean single rooms equipped with simple and practical electrical appliances. All kinds of entertainment facilities are complete, the food is fairly delicious, the service is also very good. The environment is also very beautiful, but the price is not cheap.
My pension is poorly able to support this. But I have my own house. If I sell it, then the money is not a problem. I can spend it on retirement, and the rest will be left as an inheritance for my son. The son understands very well: “your money and your property should be enjoyed by you, don’t worry about us.”
Now I have to consider preparing to go to a nursing home.
As the saying goes: Breaking a family is worth tens of thousands, which refers to many things. Boxes, bags, cabinets, and drawers are filled with all kinds of daily necessities: clothings for all weathers and beddings for all seasons.
I like to collect. I have collected a lot of stamps. I have also hundreds of purple clay tea pots. There are many small collections, and such small items as pendants of emerald and walnut amber, and two small yellow croakers. I am especially fond of books. The bookshelves on the wall are full.
There are also dozens of bottles of good foreign wine. There are full sets of household appliances; various cooking utensils, pots and pans, rice, oil, salt, noodles, floue, spices, various seasonings, in fact the kitchen is also full. There are also dozens and dozens of photo albums…, looking at the house full of things, I’m worried!
The nursing home has only one room with a cabinet, a table, a bed, a sofa, a refrigerator, a washing machine, a TV, an induction cooker and a microwave oven — all the things I will really need. There is no place to store the wealth that I have accumulated throughout my life.
At this moment, I suddenly feel that my so-called wealth is superfluous, and it doesn’t belong to me. I just take a look at it, play with it, use it. It actually belongs to this world. The wealth that comes in turns is just passing by. Whose palace is the Forbidden City? The Emperor thought it belonged to him, but today it belongs to the people and society.
You look at these, you play with these, you use these but you can’t take them with you in death.
I really want to donate the things in my house, but I can’t get it done. To deal with it has now become a problem. Very few children and grandchildren can appreciate what I have collected. I can imagine what it will be like when my children and grandchildren face with these painstakingly accumulated treasures of mine: all the clothes and bedding will be thrown away; dozens of precious photos will be destroyed; books will be sold as scrap. Collections? If you are not interested, you will dispose of them. The mahogany furniture is not practical and will be sold at a low price.
Just like the end of the Red Mansion: only a piece of white left, so clean.
Facing the mountain of clothes, I only picked a few favourites; I only kept a set of pots and pans for kitchen supplies, a few books that are worth reading; a handful of teapots for tea. Bring along my ID card, senior citizen certificate, health insurance card, household register, and of course a bank card. Enough!
It’s all my belongings! I’m gone. I bid farewell to my neighbours, I knelt down at the door and bowed three times and gave this home back to the world.
Yes! In life, you can only sleep in one bed, live in one room. Any more of it is merely for watching and playing!
Having lived a lifetime, people finally understand: we don’t really need much. Don’t be shackled by superfluous things to be happy!
It’s ridiculous to compete for fame and fortune. Life is no more than a bed.
For people over 60 years old, shouldn’t we think carefully about how to take the last journey in life? Let go of fantasies and baggage, and of those things that can’t be eaten, worn, used. Be healthy and be happy