A Day in the Life of a Lonely Old Woman

A Day In The Life of a lonely old women “It’s a new day again, Blackie! ’ Jennifer says to her dag as she ruffles the fur on hi shaggy black head. Jennifer Wong Is an elderly woman in her eighties. She has lived in a big colonial-style house in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur ever since she was married . Her late husband, Vincent and she had forty-eight years happy life in this house, but then came the devastating news that Vincent had tuberculosis. After months of suffering, he finally succumbed to his consumptive illness.

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Jennifer had to support her two daughters, Kathy and Elizabeth and son James by working in a textile mill during day and selling textile products at night . For close to twenty years, she slogged day and night. Kathy the eldest, had to learn early on how to prepare food for her siblings. She would make sure they did homework and had their showers. Often, when Jennifer returned after eleven p. m. , her three children would be fact asleep in bed . After they had grown up, her children left her to work overseas.

Jennifer watched her family members leaving this house, and her, one by one. Eventually, Kathy settled down in Singapore with her husband, Michael. Elizabeth set up home in Penang with her husband Joseph and their daughter, Berlina. James is still a bachelor, although he is well into his thirties. He has his own place, a condominium, barely two kilometers from the family house, but he is a busy man and travels abroad often . None of his children have come back to visit her .

Only her son-in-law , Joseph, visits her usually on Tuesdays and Fridays. He is a doctor , and usually drops by after his clinics closes. They talk about the weather, his patients , her health, the garden but never about Elizabeth and Berlina or Kathy and James. Jennifer is grateful for Joseph’s company. Every morning, Jennifer wakes up early . Her first order of business is to go to the food market to buy the day’s groceries. She does not own a refrigerator , nor does she feels she needs one. She walks there as exercise.

She has been doing her marketing at the grocery store for years. Old Mr Kuok, who used to own the place, now sits on the corridor staring off into space, his brain slowly being consumed by Alzheimer’s disease. His shop is now run by Ah Siong, his nephew, who used to make eyes at Elizabeth when they were growing up. When Mr Kuok was better, he and Jennifer would sit and jaw for hours. Now, Jennifer sits and talks at the empty shell of the man. Upon her return, Jennifer feeds Blackie with kibbles and milk for breakfast. Let’s eat together, Blackie my dear! ” Jennifer says . Blackie has been her companion for twelve years . He patiently listens to her grandmother’s stories everyday. If you asked Jennifer how she felt about Blackie, she would probably say he treats her better then her children do. Why doesn’t she sell her house? And lives somewhere smaller? Jennifer cleans up even her children’s rooms. She knows her children will not visit her, but who knows? One day perhaps. Although her dreams have not yet come true, she has not given up.


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