Thursday, October 18, 2007
How's the life for elderly people?
Well, some go on and on. Harry Yee in Labasa is over 100. My uncle who died last week was 101. Peceli's great-aunt Nau Besila was over 100. But that doesn't happen too often. The Beatles sang a song, something about 'Will you still love me when I am 64' - well make that 94 eh! I read a story in yesterday's Fiji Times about an elderly woman in Macuata. Her name is Miliana and she just goes about her daily life without fuss, without the need for others to do her chores. A good example to grow old gracefully. You see, I really don't like nursing homes and aged care places where the elderly are separated from the young and middleaged and away from their families. What do you think?
Miliana: Relationships matter
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Miliana Qica at her home in Nabavatu Village. Having 95-year-old Miliana Qica around has been good for villagers of Nabavatu in Macuata. She guides villagers through difficult situations especially when it comes to differences among them.The villagers have used her words of wisdom as a pillar of strength to maintain healthy and long lasting relationships. "I believe that whatever the situation we face in the village, we must always remember that at the end of the day, it is our relationship that matters especially when we are all related," Mrs. Qica said.
"It won't be a healthy environment to live in a village where there is a lot of hatred and no care for each other. As a family we should love one another and take good care for each other."
Mrs. Qica who has eight children, is originally of Batiri Village in Cakaudrove and married Orisi Sokonivatu who hails from Nabavatu which is an hours drive south-west of Labasa. Although she does not remember the year she got married and settled at the village, there is one thing she clearly remembers and that is not regretting marrying a man from Nabavatu because as she puts it: "They are the best kind of men in Fiji."
With a smile on her face, Mrs. Qica added: "That's why I am still alive and healthy at the age of 95, because my husband and children have looked after me well, even though my husband has gone first from this world."
Mrs. Qica is known for being independent. She washes her own clothes, bathes herself, cooks family meals and cleans the house. "I am fit and can still walk around and do things on my own so every time I just do my own things like wash my own clothes and cook food. I scrape the coconuts, clean the fish, pick bele leaves from the nearby plantation and peel cassava and I enjoy it because it's healthy and helps keep me fit," Mrs. Qica said.
And when her children and grandchildren take her clothes first to the laundry to have it washed, Mrs. Qica will go to the laundry and collect her clothes. "They use the washing machine which I don't like because it doesn't wash the clothes properly but just spins around all the time so I wash my own clothes. After I wash my clothes then I hang it out in the sun and I enjoy doing it but I will never allow for my clothes to be washed by anyone else or in the machine," Mrs. Qica said.
She has 45 grandchildren and 50 great grandchildren and as part of her leisure time, she makes sure that she spends an hour or two of a day with them."Seeing my great grandchildren is indeed a blessing and I have been blessed by God to be alive at the age of 95 and still fit and healthy to do work around the house," Mrs. Qica said.
Weaving mats is another favourite activity she does at home. "I only weave mats for my children, grandchildren and relatives who have functions to attend or for special occasions. I don't weave mats for people who order because it's not easy to weave so many mats especially at this age so that is why I just weave for my family," Mrs. Qica said.
Here is a picture of my Uncle Noel and Auntie Norma. We went to Noel's funeral yesterday. He was nearly 102 years old and played bowls during his last year. Norma lived to be about 98. Must be that fresh country air.