Written by Grace Pow
My 90-year-old Papa has a very tight daily schedule. Apart from joining one-day tours organised by elderly centres, he also attends group exercise classes, handicrafts and potted plant workshops. At times, Papa meets up with his friends for tea.
I once reminded him to take his walking cane with him but he remarked, ‘I’m old but not disabled’. Though I did not know whether to laugh or cry, Papa is indeed my good role model.
Over the last 30 years after his retirement, Papa has always been very proactive. At the beginning, he still worked part-time as well as learning social dance with my Mama. The more he learnt, the more he was interested in dancing. Gradually, he even became an instructor. His students included both working people and retirees. Papa has a passion for dancing simply because it can improve his health as well as expanding his social network. Making friends with different age groups with diverse social backgrounds helps him move with the times.
Papa had been a dance instructor for almost 10 years. He then took part in many different activities organised by elderly centres, enjoying a splendid and wonderful life. When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, I thought Papa would not be used to staying at home all day long without doing anything. But reality is not what it seems to be.
One morning, I thought Papa was talking to someone. When I went in his room, I saw him looking at the screen of his mobile phone while doing some cut-and-paste craft. Out of curiosity, I asked him who has was talking to.
Papa then replied, ‘I am having my Zoom lesson.’
I asked with astonishment, ‘You know Zoom? How come you know how to join Zoom?’
Papa replied again as if nothing happened, ‘Of course. I attended the training course.’
I was unable to respond because it was out of my expectation.
Being health-conscious, Papa does not like junk food. He has his walking exercise and medical check-up regularly. Whenever the doctor tells him that he is in good condition, he will share the happy news with us in our family whatssap group.
I hope Papa will continue to be a happy ‘Peter Pan’!