Yaai “Charlie”, usually referred to and simply known as “yaai”, is an independent and unstroppable centenarian powerhouse living in rural Isan, Thailand. We have been coming to see her for years now, and she normally lives with her son and daughter. She has lived a truly amazing life.
Earlier this year, one of yaai’s sons, a monk, moved to the temple in the village to be closer to his mom. He took great care of her; he made sure she was fed, comfortable, made renovations to the house including a new floor, and was attentive. When we went to see yaai last week, we found out that her son had died suddenly. We unknowingly visited the day of the funeral. Yaai’s eyes teared up as she talked about her son and his death. She was quiet, contemplative, deep in thought and mourning the loss of another one of her children. Her own health being slightly on the decline lately, we were worried about her and noticed that her medications from the doctor were all thrown together in a basket with no way to discern what meds should be taken when or what dose. We decided to visit the hospital in Buengkan and ask them about community outreach programs with local clinics, and they called the nearest one to request a doctor go visit her at home.
Earlier this week we went into the clnic to confirm that someone had or would visit her at home. Part of your donations go towards making sure elders living in poverty recieve the best possible care.
Today we went to check in on yaai and found her walking around behind the house and gardening. Yes, gardening. She is 106 years old and out there planting papaya trees and herbs in her yard! Like we said before….unstoppable!
She smiled when she saw us and stood up to give us a hug. Today she seemed back to her usual self. She was walking around unassisted by a walker or cane, active in her yard, smiling, laughing and talkative. Her conversation turned her son’s funeral and her eyes welled up, and while we couldn’t understand everything she was saying we were glad to be able to be there with her to hug her and hold her hand as she spoke. She was glad for the company and as the conversation shifted, so did her mood.
We were so happy to see yaai back in good health and good spirits today (and reminiscing about her younger years, as you can tell). Your donations help make our community outreach and assistance programs possible!