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I never thought that my parents would ever grow old and need support . For me,my parents were the strongest ... the best . They were the epitome of strength and invincibility.
In his prime years Papa was an extremely lively man . Gregarious by nature he was the life of every gathering . He loved to socialise and always looked for opportunities to throw parties and have everyone come to our place . I have fond memories of our house bursting with laughter and conversations .
There was no concept of weekends and Monday morning blues was something unheard of. Sunday or Monday or any day , our house flung open its doors to anyone and everyone and at any time of the day.
Surprisingly mummy never complained . Being a working women she juggled her work and home with impeccable dexterity. An amazing cook , she poured her love into everything she made . Everything was made at home from scratch,carefully taking into account the likes and dislikes of each one of us.
My parents were always there for people in the times of happiness as well as sorrow. We grew up attending weddings and funerals . Whenever we showed disinterest in attending a function we were firmly told "One must honour an invitation"."Always be there for people in the times of sorrow". Didn't realise how very subtly some very deep values were being instilled in us.
Papa worked 2 jobs to give us the best education . Mummy took tutions after school to earn a little extra to make ends meet . We lived within means but never felt deprived.
We flew out of the nest that they had built with so much love and affection. Don't know what they went through and how difficult it must have been for them to let go but those were exciting times for us.... being on our own, finding our partners and building our own nests.
Time and distance reduced our interactions to phone calls . Somewhere between the times we left home and built our own ,our parents grew old.
We were so busy growing up that we forgot they were growing old.
Ma and papa visited us this summer vacation. As I watched them each day it hit me really hard that my parents were growing old ..... it hit me almost by surprise which is crazy because it's not like they have suddenly become old all at once.It has been happening slowly over a span of many years. But because my own life has been going to through so much transition and changes with my own children growing up , I had simply failed to notice just how much my own parents were ageing ..... and it made me feel sad .
As children we see our parents as these invincible adults. Our dads are like those super heroes who work hard, protect us and just take care of things. Our moms are those inexhaustible resources of love and comfort who are available to us 24/7. Don't know about you guys but while growing up I assumed my parents were frozen in time. All through my growing up they looked the same age to me. Strong , energetic and young . Always that is .... until now. This time I saw my cute little mom .... fragile and breakable , and I saw my father slower than he ever was , needing support to walk.
It is not easy to accept this but the only thing I can do is understanding that there is quite literally nothing I can do about it and neither can anyone else.I know that sounds dismal and depressing but it's actually quite freeing.Their inevitable ageing is no one's fault but rather a reality we will all experience in our life. It is pointless to dwell on something that is out of our hands .
What is in my hands is doing everything I can to make sure that they know I care, and to just do things with them, or even sit down and talk to them while I still can.