“You Are So Beautiful!”

3 Jan 2018

Once my yoga teacher invited me to join one of her free yoga sessions she had customised for patients of Parkinson’s Disease and their caregivers.

I was a bit tense among this community of sufferers as I have spent most of my life trying to avoid my own pain and masking it when I can’t.

After my yoga teacher had introduced me to the group, I thanked them for having me. One of them replied slowly but gaily, “You are so beautiful!” The others expressed varying degrees of agreement, according to the limits of their facial & bodily pliancy. I was really stunned by their generosity.

Last year, on mornings to board my taxi for work, I would sometimes pass by an elderly man on wheelchair. He was accompanied by his domestic helper.

His eyes were usually closed as his helper chattered on brightly. One morning he opened his eyes when he heard me saying hello to her. I greeted him too and he replied in a frail voice but with a smile, “You are beautiful.” I could hear the presence of phlegm in his voice, indicating that it must have taken a lot out of him to give me that compliment.

Sometime in late November last year I learnt that the grandpa had choked on a piece of bread and passed on.

These days I value the ability to speak, more. And I guard the power to decide on the content even more.

Who knows? There may come a day when I have only enough breath to utter one sentence. And I hope I won’t waste it on some nonsense, but may my utterances be more akin to those made by the Parkinson’s patient and the grandpa.

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