Aida Zabidi
Grandma is looking a lot more frail. 

She’s 83 this year and has led a long, active life. She’s always been one of those women who are always on the go, from her active career as a teacher, to her involvement as Wanita UMNO’s longest serving district head at Pagoh, to her insistence of her presence at the local festivities, to her pleasure at joining our family holidays locally and overseas. 

During Ramadhan she insisted on praying all twenty three rakaats standing up, even though she has osteoarthritis, despite our insistence that she take things easy. 

I think that obstinacy and drive runs through the females in the family. 

Needless to say her knees gave way by the end of Ramadhan. 

She could barely walk from the pain, and it nearly killed her that she had to give up her daily routines of walking to the local mosque for her prayers. She fought tooth and nail when family members insisted we move her to a daybed downstairs so she didn’t have to navigate the stairs. 

I feel for her. 

That loss of independence must have been difficult, especially for someone who is used to being so active. She obviously hated using a walking stick, insisted on pushing through the pain despite how obvious it was that she was in pain. 

I have met many people like her, whose hearts and minds do not match up to their physical selves. Their hearts are still young, and it is the loss of their physical activity and independence that slowly eats away at their souls. 

Alhamdulillah my grandmother’s health is slowly improving. 

She embraces her physiotherapy sessions and narrates her activities with such enthusiasm that I can’t help laughing, from the electrical stimulation, to how they taught her to use her stick, to the other patients who are concurrently doing physiotherapy with her. 

I can only hope I have that same spirit when I age. 

Age is just a number after all.
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