My grandmother was in her eighties when she broke her hip. Before she could be operated on, her stress ulcer broke and she began to bleed non-stop. A doctor had to treat her ulcer before the surgeon could fix her hip.


My grandmother weighed over 200lb. After lying on the hospital bed for a few weeks, her bowel movement went into turmoil. It became difficult and unpredictable.


One day, on my daily visit to her hospital bed, a stench assaulted my nose. My grandmother had dug out her faeces in frustration, and thrown them on the floor. I pressed the bell for the nurse and waited.


On an impulse, I decided to clean up the mess. There I was, in my business attire and high heels, bending over the floor and picking up the faeces. I felt sick and almost threw up. Then I cleaned my grandmother as much as I could so that the nurse had an easier job to do.


The next day at the hospital, the same scene greeted me. Again, I bent over and picked up the waste. Strangely, after a few days the task was easier. After another few more days, I did it on autopilot.


I said to the nurse, "This is remarkable. Today, I feel no revulsion cleaning up the mess."


The nurse chuckled. "We get immune to its sight and smell over time. We can even eat a meal in its presence."


One day, an elderly patient near my grandmother's bed spoke to me. "I've been watching you and feeling very curious. How are you related to the patient?"


"She's my grandmother," I replied.


She said, "I've been here for weeks, but none of my grandchildren came to visit me. They say they're afraid of hospitals. I don't believe they will ever visit me here, much less looking after me or cleaning me."


I chatted with her for awhile, and then left. As I walked away, I was thinking:

  • The elderly lady has children who have their own children who are her grandchildren.
  • Whose duty is it to teach children to love and care for their grandparents?