It’s a hard concept to grasp; knowing that your parents will one day need to be taken care of.
I was originally going to write “that your parents will one day need you more than you need them”, but then I started thinking about what it means to be a parent. I realized that they will always need your love and affection — because you are their future.
Being a parent is one the most precious gifts in the world, yet so often we take them for granted. We think they will always be there to catch us when we fall, recover our fumble, mend our broken pieces, but at some point, as we grow older, we get a glimpse of our parents. And not how they look from our innocent child eyes, but we view them as people — with needs and wants and fears and joys.
For many twenty-somethings, in this age, the main thing we look to our parents, for now, is money. You may not want to say it out loud or think we are capable of being so shallow, but (for many of us) they provide everything and have given us a certain lifestyle that we would not be able to forgo without their (always proven) generosity.
We don’t turn to our parents for guidance anymore. We don’t look to them for love. We seek validation for our choices and our emotions in the advice of college roommates and beneath the kisses of men we convince ourselves show us love.
We forget that they still care about our well being, (aside from the phone calls asking what we ate that day, and how we’re surviving at work). They care about how we are growing up, and we seem to forget that they are growing up, too.
Why is it that as we grow into adults, we forget all that our parents have given us as children?
We forget about their open arms when we lost that soccer game, the home cooked meals — potatoes just the way you like them, and curfews to keep us safe. It seems like we only remember the expensive gadgets and name brand labels — always asking for more that their money can buy.
But as they grow older they start needing our love and affection more than ever and it seems like we are blinded by our own monetary needs to even realize that they need it.
My Mom recently told us that she was sick, and it was only then that I started thinking about a world without her in it.
How do you breathe without the person who gave you your first breath? Where do you go home to when you realize no one will be there to greet you at the door?
Realizing that someone you love may not be there one day is the most sobering experience in the world.
The love of your parent(s) is unlike any other. It’s different than the love you had for your first boyfriend. It’s different than the love you have for your longest best friend. It’s a love that sometimes you don’t even register because it’s always been there, hugging your heart.
The things we worry about during this stage of our lives seems so trivial in the grand scheme of things.
When you compare the loss of a family member to that of anything external: broken hearts, frenemies, salaries, and hobbies. We all have a worry that comes to mind — but take a minute to think about the last conversation you had with your mom or dad (or brother or sister).
Not a text message or e-mail. Is that last time you talked, one that you will cherish for the rest of your life?
Great relationships require effort. Value the relationships that already exist instead of dwelling on the ones that no longer do, or never did.
I’d like to encourage all of the millennials out there to take an hour out of their ‘oh so busy’ lives, and spend it drinking coffee with a family member. Don’t talk about money or anything material. Don’t talk about the Kardashians or the presidential election. Talk about each other. You will be so surprised at how much you learn and how much they will appreciate your effort.