Lingonberries part one

Bassim

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Would you please correct the mistakes in the first part of my short story?

My name is Hamid. I work as a carer. I take care of old men and women in their homes. The job is demanding, both physically and mentally, but I like it. I meet all kinds of people: former professors, doctors, nurses, tradesmen, office workers, drivers etc. For the majority of them, I am the only person they talk to during the day. Without my colleagues and me, they will be isolated and abandoned. Nowadays their children and grandchildren do not have time to visit them because they pursue their own careers and goals. Eventually, they are invited to Christmas dinner or a birthday party, and then they are forgotten again. Some of them are hurt by their children’s indifference. They wanted them to be affectionate human beings, but instead, they got selfish individuals who love their wallets more than their parents.

My clients tell me about the guilt their feel. They wonder what they had done wrong. Where had they made a mistake? How could they have given birth or fathered such creatures who don’t even deign a telephone call? I reassure them it is not their fault. It is society which has changed. Capitalism needs people who will spend more time working in factories and companies than with their old parents. We are all expendable goods and nothing more, I tell them. They nod in agreement, but they are not reassured. They hear me talking in abstractions, but they are interested to know the concrete truth about their children’s behaviour, which I, unfortunately, cannot give them.

They wonder how we treat the old in my homeland, Bosnia, and I tell them it is the opposite than in Sweden. It is not uncommon that multiple generations live together. Everyone is satisfied with the arrangement. Grandparents are never alone. Their children are at hand if something happens, and grandchildren can turn to them to hear the stories from the past they will never hear in the media. And if the parents need to spend the night away from home, they have a nanny free of charge. The old Swedes nod in understanding, but also tell me that people lived in such a way in Sweden many decades ago, before the Second World War.
Then there are those who do not mention their family at all. Either they hide their true feelings or they have cut them out of their thoughts. Instead, they turn their hatred towards those who have wronged them in the past. They pour out their anger and bitterness, using me as a psychological crutch. I don’t have the heart to tell them to stop because now when they are nearing the end of their lives it is too late to be hard done by. But I have to give them an opportunity to vent their anger. It is better they talk than bottle up their feelings and die with their bitterness.

And then there is the third group who receive visits regularly. They are the happiest of all. They see their children and grandchildren at least a few times a month; they got presents and they are invited to celebrations and festivities. Their faces shine with excitement and well-being. They do not complain if you are late or if you have forgotten an item to buy for them at the supermarket. They will never burden you with their problems from the past, and instead, they will tell you how glad and grateful they are to enjoy the company of their family.

We all have our favourites, clients who make our job a pleasure. Mine is a man in his eighties, whose name is Sune. I became his carer a couple of years ago, and we got along well from the start. He had been working as a carpenter until his retirement, and now lives in a comfortable two-room flat in a leafy suburb. His job had taken him to different countries, where the company he worked for built and renovated all kinds of buildings. Sune drinks large amounts of coffee, and he and I sit together in his living room while he narrates tales from Prague, Moscow, Amsterdam and other cities around Europe. When he was working, he was well paid and would spend a lot of money on women who ended up in his hotel room. He was full of energy and womanizer, and the temptation around him was too great to resist, especially when he was in the Eastern Block, where he was treated like a king.
TO BE CONTINUED
 

teechar

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My name is Hamid. I work as a carer. I take care of old men and women in their homes. The job is demanding, both physically and mentally, but I like it. I meet all kinds of people: former professors, doctors, nurses, tradesmen, office workers, drivers, etc. For the majority of them, I am the only person they talk to during the day. Without my colleagues and me, they [STRIKE]will be[/STRIKE] would feel isolated and abandoned. [STRIKE]Nowadays[/STRIKE] Their children and grandchildren do not have time to visit them because they're busy with [STRIKE]pursue[/STRIKE] their own careers and personal lives. [STRIKE]goals. Eventually,[/STRIKE] They are invited to Christmas dinner or a birthday party, and then they are forgotten again. Some of them are hurt by their children’s indifference. They wanted them to be [STRIKE]affectionate[/STRIKE] caring human beings, but instead, they [STRIKE]got[/STRIKE] turned out to be selfish individuals who love their wallets more than their parents.

My clients tell me about the guilt their feel. They wonder what they had done wrong. Where had they made a mistake? How could they have [STRIKE]given birth or fathered[/STRIKE] produced such creatures who [STRIKE]don’t[/STRIKE] wouldn't even deign answer/return a telephone call? I reassure them it is not their fault. It is society which has changed. Capitalism needs people who will spend more time working in factories and companies than with their old parents. We are all expendable goods and nothing more, I tell them. They nod in agreement, but they are not reassured. They hear me talking in abstractions, but they are interested [STRIKE]to[/STRIKE] in knowing the [STRIKE]concrete[/STRIKE] real truth about their children’s behaviour, which I, unfortunately, cannot give them [That's unclear. Do you mean you don't know it or that you don't want to tell them?].

They wonder how we treat the old (people) in my homeland, Bosnia, and I tell them it is the opposite [STRIKE]than[/STRIKE] of how they're treated in Sweden. It is not uncommon there for [STRIKE]that multiple[/STRIKE] several generations of the one family to live together. Everyone is satisfied with the arrangement. The grandparents are never alone. Their children are at hand if something happens, and the grandchildren can turn to them to hear the stories from the past they will never hear in the media. And if the parents need to spend the night away from home, they have a nanny free of charge. The old Swedes nod in understanding, but also tell me that people lived in such a way in Sweden many decades ago, before the Second World War.

Then there are those who do not mention their family at all. Either they hide their true feelings or they have cut them out of their thoughts. Instead, they turn their hatred towards those who have wronged them in the past. They pour out their anger and bitterness, using me as a psychological crutch. I don’t have the heart to tell them to stop because now when they are nearing the end of their lives, it is too late to be hard done by [I don't understand that.]. [STRIKE]But[/STRIKE] I have to give them an opportunity to vent their anger. It is better they talk than bottle up their feelings and die embittered. [STRIKE]with their bitterness.[/STRIKE]

And then there is the third group who receive visits regularly. They are the happiest of all. They see their children and grandchildren at least a few times a month. They [STRIKE]got[/STRIKE] get presents and they are invited to celebrations and festivities. Their faces shine with excitement and well-being. They do not complain if you are late or if you have forgotten an item to buy for them at the supermarket. They will never burden you with their problems from the past, and instead, they will tell you how glad and grateful they are to enjoy the company of their family.

We all have our favourites, clients who make our job a pleasure. Mine is a man in his eighties, whose name is Sune. I became his carer a couple of years ago, and we got along well from the start. He had been working as a carpenter until his retirement, and now lives in a comfortable two-room flat in a leafy suburb. His job had taken him to different countries, where the company he worked for built and renovated all kinds of buildings. Sune drinks large amounts of coffee, and he and I sit together in his living room while he narrates tales from Prague, Moscow, Amsterdam and other cities around Europe. When he was working, he was well paid and would spend a lot of money on women who ended up in his hotel room. He was full of energy and a womanizer, and the temptation around him was too great to resist, especially when he was in the Eastern Block, where he was treated like a king.
TO BE CONTINUED
.
 

Bassim

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teechar,

Thank you for your corrections.
In my first sentence, which you have marked with blue, I wanted to say that I could not give them the truth about their children because I did not know it. Do I need to rephrase my sentence like this to make it clearer?

"They hear me talking in abstractions, but they are interested in knowing the real truth about their children's behaviour, which I unfortunately cannot give them because I do not know all the circumstances. "

And regarding the second sentence you marked with blue, I believe I could rephrase like this:

"I don't have the heart to tell them to stop because now when they are nearing the end of their lives, it is too late to feel unfairly treated."
 

emsr2d2

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And regarding the second sentence you marked with blue, I believe I could rephrase like this:

"I don't have the heart to tell them to stop because now when they are nearing the end of their lives, it is too late to feel unfairly treated."

I wouldn't use "it is too late to" there. That makes it sound as if there is a better (earlier) time to feel unfairly treated!

I don't have the heart to tell them to stop now, at the twilight of their lives.
 

Bassim

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emsr2d2,

Thank you for your contribution.

"At the twilight of their lives" is the right phrase I needed in that sentence. Unfortunately, I could not remember it when I needed, but I see how good it sounds in the above sentence.
 

teechar

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I wanted to say that I could not give them the truth about their children because I did not know it.
Try: which I simply don't know.
 

Tarheel

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I prefer "caregiver" to "carer". Also, say: "My clients tell me about the guilt they feel."
 

Tarheel

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Thank you, Bassim. I feel reassured that I did the right thing. (I visited my wife in the nursing home almost every day of the week.)
 
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