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Isn’t it unfair?

05 July 2013, 13:28

Isn’t it unfair how when we are all grown up and out the nest, we don’t return the care we received from our parents?

Isn’t it unfair how a woman who by all means is considered a pensioner but still has to work?

It is rather unfair that such a woman especially on chronic medication has to travel long distances day in and day out to put food on the table.

The cleaner in our office (let’s call her Ma Ester) is an old lady who has high blood pressure. She is really nice but you can see the difficulty when she does her work. She has no choice – so she says.

She lives with her 3 year old grandson. Just after the birth, her son (the child’s father) died. Not long after that, the mother gave the baby to Ma Ester to raise. Now, Ma Ester, as a 60-something year old woman, has to work cleaning offices to keep things afloat.

Ma Ester has a daughter in her early 20s. This daughter, unlike her mother, lives in an upmarket suburb. She just recently bought herself a new car. Ma Ester says that the daughter does visit often. On weekends she has supper with her and the grandson.

Maybe I’m just being different but is that really fair?

Your mother who is on chronic medication is living in the township, raising your nephew since he was an infant and you’re living in an upmarket suburb driving a new car? Yes, you visit every weekend but she could do with some help, surely. Especially since in her old age she had to raise that boy since infant days. She’s supposed to take it easy at her age not get up at 05:00 each day to take that boy to crèche and make the journey to work which by the way is not that far from where you work and live.

I’m not saying this daughter needs to give up her dreams altogether because that is the dream of every parent – to see their children succeed. Yet, if she could afford a brand new car -which according to Ma Ester costs about half a million rand- driving a second hand car for some time, why couldn’t she have her mom and nephew live with her?  This daughter doesn’t live and work far from where Ma Ester works so it could lessen the travelling stress.  Maybe Ma Ester is comfortable and she perhaps doesn’t want to be a burden or an embarrassment to her daughter but let’s face it. When Ma Ester really can’t do things anymore, that child is most probably still going to be in primary school. How unfair on him?

I feel so bad. Not just for Ma Ester but for all the “pensioners” who have no choice but to work. I see lots of them on the bus.

It breaks my heart.

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