I work at a neighbourhood shop selling handphones and electronics, you know, those shops which they call a typical ah beng handphone shop.
Recently while working in the shop, I witness a scene which was very heartbreaking which made me cherish my parents again.
Here is what happened
An elderly man, easily into his 80s would walk into my shop with his crutches almost daily to ask me to check on his handphone.
He has been doing it for almost 2 weeks straight.
Every time he comes in, he would insist that there was a problem with his handphone and make me check it.
At first, I entertained him because I figured out he was probably lonely and needed someone to talk to.
However as the days passed by, it was getting a little annoying and I ended up raising my voice a little to him saying:
“UNCLE, confirm your phone got no problem la, you every day come here I spend half an hour checking on your phone I lose a lot of business leh! Can don’t always come and disturb me a not!”
Hearing what I said, the uncle wept a little and apologised to me before standing up holding his crutches tightly and began to leave the shop.
I felt guilty, apologised to Uncle and found out the sad reason why
Feeling guilty at raising my voice to an elderly uncle who probably was not good with technology and just wanted some help, I went up to the uncle and apologised and brought him to the food court for a cup of coffee.
I chatted with the Uncle a little and told him that he can always come and look for me if he needs someone or got any issues with technology.
Suddenly, he told me something which broke my heart.
“Ah Di ah, sorry if uncle always come and ask you if my phone got problem a not. Actually I also think got no problem but I not sure la, because my children always say will call me from two weeks ago, but my phone never ring and is very quiet. So I come and ask you lor”
He also mentioned that he was staying alone as his children had all grown up and have their own families and ever since his wife died, they did not contact him much.
He says he misses them but does not want to interfere with their lives and only hopes for a call from them every now and then.
I honestly teared up a little when I heard him saying that.
Reflected on myself
It got me thinking that sometimes while we are busy with our lives, we tend to neglect the important things in life like quality time with our loved ones.
Our parents are also aging as we age, and we’ll never know how much time we have with them.
After that incident, I vowed to constantly keep in touch with my parents, no matter how busy I am outside.
I also hope that the elderly uncle’s children will realise this and take care of him.