It is one of those moments, when you read something and it hits a chord inside you. Maybe due to the circumstances/ situations or more so because it is true.
That one question that you never thought of. “Have you ever watched your parents while they were asleep?”
Your father’s body, once big and strong but now, the big is withered and the strong is weaker. Wisps of grey peek out of his hair, wrinkles now scar his forehead and hands and face.
“This man worked hard every day and would sacrifice anything to make sure his family is provided for and his children get the best education possible.
“Or how about your mother, whose soft hands once cuddled and held you close when you were a baby? Now, those hands are dry and rough, bearing evidence of the challenges she faced just for us.
“This woman takes care of our daily needs constantly nagging and scolding us because of her love for us. But sadly we often misconstrue her love as control and unfairness”.
I have never thought of watching my parents while they slept. I’ve watched my cousins/ my son sleep / friends’ children when they were babies, all round and cuddly and sweet smelling. But watch my parents? Na!!
But after reading this message, I realized that there was indeed much truth in it. In fact, my parents do not have to be asleep for me to realize that they have aged.
Just looking at my mother walk tells me that her legs are not as strong as they were before. Or hearing her ask me for help with that bag/ dish / something under the bed etc., the one she used to be able to carry, pick, push and drag around the house / kitchen herself.
Or watching my dad lift the gas cylinder or bags of groceries or pulling and carrying suitcases. I can easily do that now, I am young (you know compare to our parents). But to him it is a struggle.
What do all these observations tell me? Yes, my parents have aged. They are aging just as I am ageing. But as I age towards my best years and become stronger, they in turn are becoming weaker. They were once the caregivers and I the receiver. In time, I know our roles will reverse. Like it or not, want it to or not, this is life.
I suppose I have always subconsciously thought that my parents would always be with me, never growing old. It took that message to make me realize that my parents are not immortal. That they too, will one day leave the world and me. Until then, I will make good use of our time together. And so should you. Appreciate and remind yourself what you have now and now, does not last forever.