On the eve of my dad’s 70th Birthday, I find myself writing this blog post but feel a little perturbed. The whole time my main focus was on his milestone celebration. Joyful and grateful that God’s grace was bestowed on my dad’s life.
But with all this hype – I failed to take into account that my dad is ageing. Not just my dad but that I lost focus that my parents (including in-laws) are ageing.
Blessed and filled with gratitude that the four of them are still alive. Not many have that privilege to have their parents on this earth. All of them are now in their 70’s. Although they are not bedridden, frail or terminally ill, it is unsettling to think that they are growing old and that they might not be with us for much longer.
Three years ago we had a big scare when my dad had a heart attack and a couple of months ago the same happened to my mother-in-law. Luckily both of them survived. That crisis made us realise that our parents are slowly becoming our responsibility.
Still very much independent and running their own households, there are certain things that they depend on us to assist with. The roles are now slightly reversed and as adult children we find ourselves guiding them. Especially when it comes to administrative duties and advice on things of the 21st century.
Although all of them are still mentally healthy with my own mother still teaching at the age of 71. Their age is starting to show. Besides the gray hairs, they are slowly becoming incapable of doing certain things. They are no longer strong and energetic.
The slight forgetfulness, not being able to walk at a steady pace, aching backs, legs and other ailments are factors that need to be taken into account. Not forgetting the stubbornness.
Despite the fact that we are adults and parent our own kids; we still need our parents to be in our lives. It struck me that my parents still play a vital parental role in our lives. They are our go to people for advice on cooking and how to fix certain things. They are our advisers and support structure when it comes to our children. Knowing that they are only a phone call away gives us that assurance.
They always had our backs and still do. Supported us as young children through to adulthood in all our achievements. They laid the foundation for who we are today. They respect our decisions and don’t interfere.
I love them and see their value and appreciate them for what they do for us. Blessed that I have the opportunity to spend time with them. I see my in-laws every day and my own parents almost every second day. Even if it is just for a pop in and out.
I don’t know what the future holds and as I write this post, I can’t help but feel emotional as I can’t seem to imagine my life without them. But until that day comes, all I can do is show them how much I appreciate them.
Time is something we can’t take back and we need to make those who are dear to us, a priority. At the end; memories are the only thing we have to hold on to.
So my wish to those who are reading this blog post and who are still fortunate to have their parents on this earth; reach out to them.
If you come out of an abusive relationship with your parents and feel it is time to repair your relationship with them – then do it today.
If you don’t have the courage to call them, write them a note, email or send them a message to ask for forgiveness or tell them that you forgive them for what they did.
You don’t want to have regrets; life is too short to have quibbles with your parents.
For those who have a relationship with their parents, tell them how much you love and appreciate them.
Make time for them.
Don’t disrespect or judge them. Never be ashamed of who they are.
Have patience with them; they are vulnerable and can no longer adapt or uphold to a certain lifestyle.
Try and understand what their main focus in life is at that age, and why they are resistant to certain things.
Stop trying to rub your believes and ideas onto them. As they grow old, establish what they want and what is best for them.
Your intentions towards them should be genuine, don’t criticize or try and parent them.
If they are in a home, make time to visit them, spend time with them and show them that they are still valued.
Bottom line is… it’s not easy to see our parents grow old. They are no longer the same people who they were a couple of years ago. Just know that you too will walk that same path one day; that’s if you will be blessed to see that age.