Last night I came to a sharp realization; My parents are getting old. Not a completely new realization of course, it’s something that I have been thinking about for some time now, but it wasn’t until this cold quiet night that it really hit home. My father sat wrapped in a comforter half asleep in front of the television, while my mother slowly sipped away at her tea, lowering the warm cup to sooth her sore throat every few minutes. I kept going back and forth between the two, I just couldn’t pull myself away.
I’m not sure exactly what I was feeling or how to describe it…but it felt heavy in my chest and I could barely choke back my tears. Parents get old and with age comes the inevitable; this is the natural circle of life, but knowing that doesn’t make it any easier to accept.
My parents have always been like heroes to me. Like many immigrants, they left their family, friends and everything that they held dear to come to Canada and start a new life for themselves. They worked hard…really hard…to provide us with everything that we could possibly desire. And it’s not just the financial aspect, any parent could have done that, it was and still is, the unconditional love and support that really stands out. They were there through every difficult time, stayed up with me during long sick nights, encouraged and supported many of my wild adventures and were always there…always.
As they get older, the tables are slowly starting to turn, and I am finally being given the opportunity to do something for them. These are small things, nothing that could ever amount to all that they did for me, but let me tell you, it feels great…feels right.
I often hear people talking about what little time they have to visit their parents, their lives are just too busy to take the kids over to play or drop by for a family dinner. Seriously? After spending their entire adult lives caring for us, our parents are finally at a place where they need us-and we don’t have time for them? And let’s just put time aside, many of us don’t even have the patience to have a conversation with our parents. We are easily annoyed, refuse to repeat a thought more than once, and often end off with a disrespectful dismissal of the whole discussion. Situations like this hurt me the most…how quickly we forget who we are and how we got here.
We need to start showing our parents the respect, appreciation and time that they deserve, they will not be here forever…the inevitable is just around the corner. Not taking this opportunity to connect, will leave us with nothing but regret and empty desires for what should have been.