“Love your Parents. We are so busy growing up, we often forget they are also growing old.”

Life the past few months has been a reminder that I am growing older, especially facing an empty nest.  However, in all my focus to deal with seeing my own children grow older I have honestly lost sight of the fact that my own parents are also growing old…

My parents stopped by the other day to drop off a belated birthday gift since I had out of town in Arizona on my actual birthday.  After we finished visiting I watched as my parents left my home and walked down my front steps toward their car. My father took my mother by the arm and slowly and carefully helped her step down the small steps of my porch.  As I watched them walk away it hit me really hard that parents were growing old…it hit me almost by surprise, which is crazy because it’s not as if they have become old all at once. It has been happening slowly over the span of many years.  But because my own life has been going through so much transition and change due to my kids growing up and moving out over these last few years, I had somehow simply failed to notice just how much my own parents were aging…and it made me feel sad.

As a child you see your parents as these invincible adults. We see our dads as these big strong men who work hard, protect us, and just take care of things.  We see our moms as our caretakers who are always there to make sure our needs are attended to that we always know we are loved.  I don’t know about all of you but for all of my life when I looked at my parents they seemed to be frozen at the same age. All through my growing up they looked the same age to me.  Strong and energetic and young.  That is how they have always seemed to me.  Always, that is, until now. Now I see a cute little white haired mom who is fragile and breakable, and I see a gray haired father who walks a little slower than he once did. Both now in their mid 70s the realization is finally hitting me that one day down the road (and I pray that it is many more years down the road still) these two people who have been the absolute rock and foundation for my life may no longer be on this earth with me.

It’s a thought I simply cannot imagine without breaking into tears. Even as I write this I can’t stop my eyes from welling up.  I am not ready for the day to come when my parents are with me anymore.  I’m just not.  They have been my guides and my anchor my entire life. Whenever I need advice I always know I can call my dad, and whenever I need sympathy I know I can call my mom.  And I don’t want to imagine a day when I can no longer pick up the phone and do that or when I can knock on their door and have them there to answer it. Yet it is a reality that I need to start to remember so that I don’t allow myself to take one moment I have with them for granted.

I need to make more time to spend with my parents. I need to make it a priority to spend quality time with them.  I need to make sure I get their advice now on the things I should know for the future so I don’t waste my chance to get it while they are still both here with me.  I need to ask them to tell me more stories about their own life and all the lessons they have learned that might someday be helpful to me.  I need to make sure I let them know how much I love them and what they mean to me while they are still here to hear it in person.

Every one of you reading this blog have parents that are aging if you are still blessed enough to have them on this earth. No matter how old your parents are the reality is that any of us could lose our parents at any time. Let’s all make an effort to make more time for them, express more love for them, and make sure they feel appreciated while we still have them with us.

~Amy

19 Comments

  • Regi says:

    I really loved the way you written..even i cant control my tears while reading.. Dad and Mom are same for everyone, same love, affection…I believe they are the only souls who bless us wholeheartedly.. I love them very much 🙂

    Regards
    Regi

  • Bill says:

    Amy,
    Great insight on our parents aging.
    Years ago before my father and grandfather died, i set up a camera over my shoulder and asked them to tell me about their lives. I asked simple questions that led to spontaneous answers. I asked them to tell me the stories again that I loved as a kid. Ask for thier advise and insught on any subject. These videos are priceless. Written journals are wonderful. Stories captured on film with thier own voices and the twinkle in thier eyes will live forever.
    It is always better in person. Film is the next best thing to capturing our parents for future generations as well.
    Thanks again for your blog.

  • Simona Lakner says:

    How fortunate we are to live in the “new technology “world. A total stranger to remind me to “call my mother”I also was to busy to call my mother and of course , I never listened to anyone. If you all would know how very sorry I am, NOW. But of course it’s to late…. I am 84 and my husband is 93. Our children and grandchildren call us every 2-3 days. Is it luck, common sense or good upbringing? Whichever…thank G-d, us and my wonderful family! Another mother.

  • Kelvin says:

    Hi
    I don’t mean this in an offensive way…BUT not everyone is lucky as you to have such supportive, understanding, parents. Many people do not have that experience with there parents, so just saying,it’s alot more challenging and complex watching there parents age and supporting them.I’m sure you are grateful.Besides that, everything else you have written in this article is spot on. It is very surreal watching parents age.You suddenly feel a shift with in you and feel a sense of loneliness like you never will again. Thanks for the article and hope your parents live along happy life.

  • Erika says:

    We learn something every day, and lots of times its that what we learned the day before was wrong.

  • Anonymous says:

    Very nice blog

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  • Terry says:

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  • steve says:

    Just visited my parents and have not seen themnbefore for a year, it just hit me that they are getting old and I need to spend more time with them.

  • korapakasupriya says:

    Pls write about feelings of the mothers in the old age homes

  • korapakasupriya says:

    Hi..
    Please grant my request…and thanks for the article I hope that ur parents be alive fr 100 years.

  • mars says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I myself couldn’t contain the tears in my eyes as I read your article. You’re a good daughter and I hope we all learn from what you realized and spend as much time with our parents as we could!

  • Ginn says:

    thank you AMY

    I promise myself form this moment on that i will love my parents (and inlaw) more and more.

  • Steve Ho says:

    I am reading your writting with tears . I love your writing so much . My english is not very well but i do understand every words of your story and I feel the same as you feel .I promise myself from now i will love and spend time with my parents more and more .Thanks so much for your writing .

  • Chris says:

    Great insights. I have spent many of the last few days crying as I realized the end is closer then I thought and wanted. As a man, I am naturally drawn to my mother and her family. She is healthy, walking nearly 4 miles a day, but her mind is fading faster and faster. Death is part of life, I just did not realize how fast it would get here.

  • Sanjay says:

    Wow ! Only my teary eyes can truly explain the emotion in this post. Thank you very much !!

  • Sh says:

    I broke into tears

  • Stacie Dean says:

    Hello Amy. I just read this piece and I am literally crying with all that I have. I lost my dad this September will be five years. He had Parkinsons.
    My mother is living and turned 70 two days ago. It seems like I notice her being more forgetful now. Her sweet precious hands are starting to get more wrinkled each day. She has let her hair go gray and I see her aging right before me. It is the hardest thing in the world. The last few nights I cry myself to sleep. None of us know how long we have left with our parents but to me the aging process has to be the hardest. I was looking for something tonight to read on this and felt like you were an angel and wrote this for me.

  • Ambika says:

    True! I wished my parents could lived longer. I have loved them the most throughout my life..
    Just wished that God had made some arrangements by which we could meet them once a year..even when pass away

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