My mother has always said that the sweetest time in her life was when we were little and she held us in her arms. We would rap our hands around her neck and stare up into her eyes and watch her lips as she spoke and it was the purest form of love and affection one could find in this life.
But what happens when children grow up, move out and starts lives of their own?
What happens when they end up living in another city or country?
Well, they have no choice but to learn to have less of us.
They suffer inside because they are not able to witness all of the magical moments in our lives on a daily basis.
Their Grandchildren come into the world and although they may be there for the day they are born and the celebrations thereafter, sooner or later they have to return home. The distance feels like a million miles away and every moment they miss will never be repeated.
I wonder how many parents keep secrets in regard to the status of their health – mental and physical from their children so as to not worry them?
They can’t bring them to their medical appointments or wait with them at the pharmacy. They can’t serve as their advocate when the medical system fails.
What is life really? It’s love, loss, happiness, sadness. It’s work and play and passion and friendship. It’s about having someone take care of you when you can’t take care of yourself and it’s about caring for them as well.
Life is also about how we treat and honour our parents. We protect them because they protected us.
We all run around worrying about making a living and getting the stove fixed and painting the house and going back and forth to the grocery store because we forgot something again and again. We all plan. We’re going to take a vacation, we’re going to get contact lenses, we’re going to renovate, we're going to get our grey done.
We pray for our kids to be healthy and happy. We want them to do well in school but more so to do well socially – to fit in – to like who they are and who they become. For a parent, this is an eternal prayer.
But somehow when it comes to getting the whole family together in one place at one time it seems like an impossible task. A week becomes a month, a month becomes more months and somehow someone can’t make it and the planning goes on and on and all the while, fate is setting the chess board and one of the players is going down.
No matter where you are or what you are doing. No matter how bad a day you are having or how many worries race in your mind or how many things you need to get done, sometimes you need to stand back and think about what is really important and remember that somewhere else at that very moment, your parents are thinking of you and wondering what you are doing and how you are feeling and wishing they could see you more often.
You are not invincible. You are not here forever and in most cases, your parents will leave you before you leave them and when that terrible day comes – you will feel lost, abandoned, alone and you'll wonder "What just happened? Did that really happen?"
Your mind will play tricks on you and day in, day out you will forget they are gone so you'll pick up the phone to call them or you'll save a joke to tell them or you'll hear a song that reminds you of them. You'll see them in your dreams, very much alive and healthy as if they are trying to tell you that even in death, they look over you and keep you safe.
So while they are still here:
- Call them and listen to the sound of their voice as much as what they have to say.
- Visit them so you can look into their eyes and really know what is going on.
- Meet your mother at the kitchen table when everyone else has gone to sleep. Eat, laugh, confide in her as she holds your hand and looks at you as if you you are the most important person in the world.
- And when the time comes, get up, put on your gloves and be in their corner when that bell rings.
LOVE your parents.