Sunday, February 9, 2014


It was in October 2008 that I wrote post - Loneliness At Old Age. In that I had brought out about life of old couples when their grown up children fly off the nest to another city or country to pursue their own careers thus letting old couples live alone, may be with own choice or otherwise. Least I could foresee at that time that we may be one such couple five years later.

Our son left for Canada in mid Dec 2013 as his organization offered him placement there. His wife and daughter also joined him there in the last week of January, though his wife being here was not much of company for us. That is another sad part which I shall briefly share later. Our daughter stays in Delhi but in another locality. She and her children visit us as per their convenience and we do not interfere in their life. I had told her when she left us after marriage that though we are there for her but that is her new family where she has to make her place with love and affection. So basically it is we two oldies who are in each other’s company now.  

Coming to what I said about our daughter in law, we let our son and her settle down with each other. Though we lived together, which was told to her by me as well as our son before marriage so she could say no if she so wanted to, but never interfered in their relations except just a couple of times in eight years of their marriage and that too to ensure that there was no violence. On the contrary her father seemed to take active interest in their affairs. She had a habit of going to her father’s place often whenever she had any difference with our son. Of these, her longest stays there had been twice, a year in the fourth year of their marriage and a year & half before leaving for Canada.

In the first instant she joined us back the day we shifted from the locality we were staying in to the one where her parents stay.  Later we learnt that she had told our son that she would not come back to the locality we stayed in as our daughter too stayed there and her children ( 7 years old daughter and 3 years old son at that time ) alongwith their maid used to be with us after school for few hours till they left for park to play from where they went home.

On the second instant she left for her father’s place after some differences with husband. She told us that she needs a break and would be back in a week or ten days but did not return. We had advised our son to sort it out but he was initially reluctant saying that he had told her if she went to her father’s place again he would not ask her to return. However after a couple of days he spoke to her asking her to return but she did not. It was only after 3 months or so that she told our son that she would join him only if he separates out from us. She insisted that he take a house close to her parents so the little one could go to their place after school. We advised him to do so for the sake of little girl. We left it to our son to sort it out. It was only about  4 months ago when our son got this offer of going to Canada that she started visiting on weekends as she was keen to go with him. She continued staying with her father even after our son had left and visited us off & on till she left.

We missed our granddaughter on both these occasions. I had met her father a few times during first couple of months in the first instant but he did not show any keenness for her to return. On second instant, without our son’s knowledge, I met him a month after she had gone to see if we could sort it out but he made very derogatory remarks about our son that I made me not to speak to him thereafter.

It appears that our son had not been keen to separate from us while being here as he feared interference of her father. So he waited for this offer.

Our son wanted us also to go with him but we declined as we are keen to let them settle down. Though we do feel lonely but are happy that they are together and little one has love of both parents. We have spoken on Skype and little one seemed so happy to be there. We wish them to have a happy married life. We do not intend being there with them inspite of our son asking us repeatedly. We pray to God that all goes well now onwards.  

So we are in the band of old couples staying alone at their own due to own choice.     


Furree Katt said...

Oh Jack Uncle! :( This made me so sad. The sacrifice you have made is admirable. If I lived near you I would have visited you regularly! Please take care of yourself.

Meera Sundararajan said...

Jack Uncle.. I don't know what to say..!! I guess as parents we would like to have our children live with us and watch our grandchildren grow. But when children marry they have a life of their own. You should be happy that your son is not dependent on you financially and enjoy your old age , meeting friends and doing things that you never had time for when you were younger and burdened with responsibilities. When our children settle down we should think ourselves "Azaad" once again like our youth!!

Amrita said...

Uncle,this was very sad to hear. I would refrain from commenting much on the actions of ur dil.. since... i feel.. one should not get ones parent's involved post marriage.
I am sad for u,because the way things have materialised is unfortunate... if it was all amicable and there was a chance of them coming back and stayin with you, it would have been very nice...
i hope you have the strength to go through this very difficult phase and i know you must be pining for ur grandchild... :(
i really appreciate the way you have been so neutral in ur advise and in your posts.. i have seen ppl who have probs with their dil become bitter towards all dils in the world.. may you see some good times dear uncle!

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

:( :(
It is sad indeed ... maybe your DIL is insecure about having had to move to a new family, and therefore wanted to ensure that her relations with her parents were the same as before.

Also, when we are in stress, we have a tendency to make a mountain out of a mole-hill. That might have caused your DIL to portray your son in bad terms in front of her parents.

Gayu said...

Hugs to you uncle...I can understand it must be quite challenging, as at this age, we look forward to the comapny of our children and especially grandchildren. I call up my Dad everyday and the enthusiasm in his voice as he says Hello is something special :)
I am sure, things will settle down, now that they are together. Maybe their relationship needed this space and maybe few months down the line, they come to stay with you forever :)
Sending prayers to you:) Do take care of your health and keep blogging. Looking forward to read more from you!
Love and hugs from Samu dear!

Sarah Haider said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah Haider said...

Hello Uncle Jack,
I was moved after reading your story. You and your wife surely have a big heart. I seldom get to see such understanding parents in our part of the world -Pakistan and India, that is. I am sure that the sacrifice you made for the happiness and well-being of your children will pay off. May God bless you and your wife with a healthy and contented life!

Jack said...


I am so moved with such affectionate views. It will be so sweet of you to give me such support by being in regular touch. May God bless you. Take care


I agree that children have their own life. But can that not be ensured even living together? Are we like animals that we discard our parents and move away? Do we not have right to enjoy our second childhood with grandchildren? These are more pertinent if parents are non-interfering as AZAADI can be for both couples, children as well as parents in such situation. Take care


Yes, we do pine for our granddaughter but are very happy that she is with both parents now. She will have proper growing period. Take care


I can well understand what you say. Please read my post - Happy Married Life, in three parts written in Oct - Nov 2009. I followed what I said in those. Take care


Thanks for such an understanding view. We do miss all of them, specially when our effort was to see them settled happily without interfering. Do keep in touch, please. Take care


We are happy for the little girl to have love of both parents during her growing period. It is unfortunately that our culture is such. May God bless you for such supportive views. Take care

Vinaya Naidu said...

You and aunty are a brave set of people with a large heart and great amount of self-respect. I can only pray for your good health, sitting here in Pune. You daughter-in-law will probably never understand all of the pain she has been causing to your son and family. Hopefully, she does one day and regrets it.

Take care...keep blogging...loads of love and care from me & Prasant:)

Rama Ananth said...

I am really touched by your story.
Ok you miss your children, but even if they live with you, they may not be of much help to you either physically nor emotionally. And thank god you are independent, imagine a situation with you and your wife living under them. You have to let go when the situation is not amicable due to reasons beyond your control. If they are happy somewhere away from you, let them be , for we wish only the best for or children. And your son is a good man, misses you or feels like spending some time with you he can come alone or with your grand daughter.
If you really need help, in your everyday life, and if you can afford it you can always keep some trustworthy person to do that for you, and believe me is much better paying and getting help than expecting your own flesh and blood to do it for you.
Now a days you don't even have to do that, as there are many good retirement homes where you pay a lump some and all your needs are taken care for, you would be living in a safe environment, and you would have friends who would bring you more joy than your own children.
Our children came into this world not out of their own wish, but they came because we wanted them and we created them. So it is not right to expect them to look after us or to be with us. It is different if that is what they also want. I am sure you did not bring your children with the thought that one day they would be with you and never leave you alone.
It is true in olden days that was the idea, and it worked most of the times. But times have changed drastically,people are in a lot of stress these days, and they are not as strong as you were when you did your duties to your parents.
So it is better we follow the policy of live and let live.
You are always in my prayers. Please don't feel offended by what I have written, for I am only stating the facts of the present generation, and the present times.
And who knows your situation might even change for the better.
Have faith in the Universe it would always show you the right way .