There is a special kind of feeling when I think about you, dad. It’s a pleasure to remember all the happy times we have had; there is a place somewhere within my heart that only you can own
This day, 25th October is a black day in my life. It was this day in 1987 that my beloved father passed away. I was 17, and my mother, 42. From that unfortunate day, up until now, things have changed. Many years have gone by. Today I am 42 and my mother is at 67, but the sweet memories of my dad are fresh in our minds. The memories always brighten our hearts and we smile wistfully, remembering happy times spent with him.
As a father of two children myself, I can tell you that parenting is not an easy task; the pain and pleasure of raising children can only be experienced and not explained.
Here are a few words from my heart about ‘Caring for Parents’, an attempt to pay homage to my dear father in my own little way. I couldn’t have found a better day to write this note. I hope this note strikes a chord with each of you. If these words help even one of you, I will consider it a tribute to my father.
The need for parents can only be felt in their absence. I was one such unfortunate boy who lost his father at a young age. I can only say that those who have their parents with them are truly blessed. Hold them close and give them all you can, while you can. Of course, it’s not always easy. Aging comes with its own problems. Some of the problems are –
- Illness – Ailments such as Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Knee Joint Pain, Back pain, loss of hearing, short/long-sightedness, etc are common amongst older people.
- Feeling of insecurity – deterioration in health, inability to move around as they used to during their younger years etc brings insecurity amongst the old people – “I should not trouble my children on account of my illness”
- Fear of Death or chronic disease
- Shock of the death of the spouse or the death of their peers or friends – “when will be my day?”
- Feeling of loneliness
- Inability to adapt to the cultural change, the lifestyle children or the way of living of grand children – “How long should I live to see this drama, I am fed up. It was not so during my days”
The by-products –
The by-products of the above ailments are hypertension, short temper, frustration, helplessness, depression, etc.
The result of the by-products is yelling, cribbing, worrying, irritation, etc. The result will have a ripple effect on you and the people around you;
- If they say something you don’t like to hear, you get irritated
- When you get irritated, you start screaming
- When you start screaming, they can’t digest it
- When they can’t digest it, they will start crying
- If they start crying, you can’t stop them
- When you can’t stop them, you get upset
- When you are upset, you will look for a window to vent out your anger/frustration.
- Your window will be your kids, spouse, colleagues, friends, etc.!
- It’s obvious; they will get into the loop and move on in the chain….
What youngsters should know?
- The youngsters i.e., children and grandchildren should know that they are also going to be old someday.
- Living with the parents is a blessing; not a burden;
- Living with the parents who are not suffering from any illnesses or the problems mentioned above is a greater blessing
- Old people are no burden; remember, you are here because of them
- They will not live as many years as they have lived so far
- Even if you wish, you can’t serve them after their demise. Do whatever you can, when they are around you
- No amount of social service can match or come close to the care and concern that you can show your aged parents. There is nothing nobler than that.
What youngsters can do?
- Give parents all the warmth, love and affection at the time that they need it the most.
- It is understandable that sometimes [or even many times] the old people irritate you. Take it easy, shed your ego and go their way. If you know you’re right, try and convince them; and if you fail to do so, be ready to sacrifice.
- Let your parents win the arguments. Give up. Let them have the satisfaction of winning over you. C’mon, you have many chances and occasions to win.
- Give them a feeling of security. Aged parents would not have the same strength as you have. Help them overcome their weakness by offering them great security.
- Do not yell at them. Hurting them will only make matters worse. It would make them cry and the guilt will stay with you for days.
- Spend some time with them. They don’t expect any gifts from you. The greatest gift you can offer to them is you. A calm, counseling, peaceful YOU.
- Don’t be upset that your routine is disturbed because you have to take them to the hospital or stay back home when they are unwell. It’s alright. They have spent sleepless nights during your childhood when you needed them; they did take care of your schooling, took you to the theatre & play grounds. It is indeed shameful if one deserts their parents during their old age.
Easy to Preach – difficult to Practice.
This is true. Even your parents are aware of this. After all, they are your parents and they did take care of their parents! So, they are accommodative too. They don’t expect too much from you. You needn’t be perfect.
They also understand that lifestyles have changed and the culture is not one they are accustomed to.
Show them your care and concern, understand their needs and wishes, comfort them with good treatment. That’s it. They will live happily and leave us peacefully.