Love Your Parents
All of us are so preoccupied with our own lives; we go to school or work, we travel and explore, we celebrate our birthdays and went to our friends’ parties but we never took a moment to recognise that as we are growing up and discovering life, our parents are also getting older.
My mother has this condition where her hair will start to thin and new hair fails to grow. This causes her to have a growing bald spot from her hairline till the centre of her scalp. So, when I played around with her hair, I realised that her bald spot had become very obvious. It had never been so bad before and I was quite taken aback. Soon, I realised that it was another sign of her ageing. It was her birthday that day and she just turned 49. At that moment, the realisation of my parents’ mortality dawned on me.
I tried not to picture her old and frail in 20 years time, requiring assistance to move from point to point. I tried not to imagine her requiring help to put food into her mouth. I tried not to imagine her health failing and seeing, probably the darkest time in my life, fast approaching. However, it is something I need to prepare for. As dark as it may be, it is something that will eventually happen. It is something that I do not want to be caught completely off guard.
Every single birthday, every single year, as we turn 20, 21, or whatever age we may be, we also need to remember that our parents are turning 50, 51 or even older. We also need to remember that age is catching up with them and their health might also be steadily deteriorating. Unfortunately, It is one of the facts of life. One day, our parents will turn old and frail. They will become dependent and it is up to you to care for them and ensure that their welfare is taken care of. One day, their health will turn for the worse and you will have to face the inevitable scenario.
I suggest all of you to take a good look at your parents and see age catching up with them: their facial skin drooping and loosening, their hair falling, and their skin wrinkling.
Therefore, we need to realise that our time with them is finite and a majority of our time now should be spent with them. I am not saying that we should forgo our own lives and our own aspirations but instead, we should prioritise them first. If we have to choose between going for a last minute meeting or a dinner with them that had been planned for a while, we should choose the latter.
Do simple acts of kindness for them, be there for them, help ease their lives for them, for were they not there for you when you were small and powerless?
Love them, cherish them and know that whatever they did for you can never be repaid and every moment that passes, your darkest days are slowly approaching.
I try to be secular on this site, but there is an ayah from the Al-Quran that captures the idea of this whole article:
And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.
– Surah Al-Isra, Quran 17:23