Watching Your Parents Age is An Emotional Fight. Period.

The most heartfelt blog post is always written while sitting alone while waiting in some sort of waiting room or maybe while travelling alone – basically when you have a lot of time for yourself. For me, that is how it works.This is not the first time I am thinking of this. In fact, this is something about which I am always thinking. It’s like it’s there in my head all the time.

My parents have always been my superheroes. Wolverine – self-healing of injuries, Captain America – timeless, never getting old, Superman – doing everything, nothing is impossible.

I have been pretty dependent on my parents when it comes to my growing up years. And they are the only people who made me independent today. From combing my hair to tying my shoelaces to taking me out for any academic exams, my parents have always been there. Doing it as their only duties, without fail.

I am in the 28th year of my life, yes. I had never seen my mother weak. I have never seen my father afraid of doing anything. And I never thought things will change. Ever.

But then, I forgot that my parents are human beings too. They are ageing and I have not been able to accept this fact. And I have been fighting this feeling, since the last 10 years now.

After my sister got married, my parents have aged at double the rate. Both of them might not look that old – yes, they just look younger than their age – but they are old. My sister still lives in the past when it comes to our parents. You miss a lot of things if you miss a kid’s growing up years. Similarly, you miss a lot of things when you miss your parent’s growing older years. And witnessing those years is not a pleasant feeling.

My parents are perfectly healthy. They follow their set of a daily routine of exercise and healthy diet, which I might not be. But deep down, they know that now there are things for which they are just ‘too old’. And let us be very practical here. “Age is just a number” doesn’t work after a certain age for everyone!

I remember my father being my go-to person who always had a solution for everything. The same father of mine is now scared of doing a lot of things.  The absolute rock figures of my life are pretty fragile and breakable right now. They are strong to sustain themselves. But is that enough once you are on the other side a certain age?

They are dependent on me for a lot of things now. It is not because they are incapable, no. Never. They are capable of doing everything. But it is because the world is changing at a super fast rate. And it is no longer the same as what used to be 40 years ago. And that is something they are not able to digest which makes them not just physically but mentally vulnerable too.

I am not going to talk about any particular incidence which might have triggered this up. However, this is as generic as it can get. I see many of my friends complain about their parents – about silly li’l things. It might be because their parents are younger – relatively. Or I might be complaining about them too but I somehow I know I give them benefit of doubt in almost everything. They can’t be at the same pace as you are. And I know it. They are trying hard. No harm if I try hard too, no? And this is not out of sympathy. It is because of the human emotion called love!

Sometimes both of them become pretty adamant about things. They get extreme mood swings. And they demand a lot of time. And it’s all allowed. Trust me, it is. I try my best to spend my time with them whenever I am available. It might not be just enough for them but as much my life allows me to.

I have never imagined my life without seeing them around. It is a super scary feeling to just leave them and move to the next phase of my life. It is as scary as it can get. But there is nothing that I can do about it. I might find a workaround to be around them but they will slowly be fading away in my priority list of every day. They are a priority today. Tomorrow, they might be just pushed back a li’l in that list. I will always be guilty about it and I know this is how life works and I might not be able to cope up with it, but they have to know that all I do is just care about them. Everything I do, I always have them in my mind.

Random and super jumbled thoughts, but I had to get them out. I can not stay indifferent in every aspect of life, can I?

  1. Such a heartfelt post. You don’t realize how much your parents have aged until a day you find them the same age as your grandparents were. You are indeed lucky to have both your parents around.

  2. I almost felt I had written this post! I have the same observation with my parents. Once they are through with their responsibilities and free to pursue other passions, suddenly age catches up with them. Life is so unfair. One needs to be more sympathetic and patient with ageing folk, I totally agree. All they want from us is time. Small thing for us, but big for them.

  3. This post brought tears in my eyes. I wasn't around when my father passed away and I still regret those moments where I couldn't make it when he needed me the most. This guilt is so deep that even after 4 years also I ain't able to come out of it.

  4. I feel you. I know the exact same feeling. My mom has been hustling for years! She knows everything. She's my go to person and she knows things google doesn't. She has been taking all the important decisions in our lives and a month back, I saw her falter. I saw fear in her eyes and my heart sank. What do you do when your Go to person is helpless? You give them the strength. My sister and I talked to her and helped her with her decision while it was difficult for us to cope with this change in her. She's getting old. We need to come to terms with that.

  5. Emotional, Touching & Wonderful!! My Mom is 70 and yet we still expected from her what we always expected from her. Of late only we realised that Maa is getting old though somewhere we still want to defy this. Typical thoughts. But watching and accepting that parents age itself is a very emotional thing.

  6. I saw my once super active mother being bedridden for two years before she left us. My Dad takes good care of himself but the fear of something happening to him never leaves me now.

  7. Dad has always been my superman and mom, my rock. However, they have been ailing for a while now. Your post brought tears …simply beautifully penned. Thank you for writing this. Keep writing. #MyFriendAlexa #MayuraReads

  8. The same thought I get every other day. My parents live alone after both my sister and I got married. Though they are capable enough to do anything and everything for their daily routine, there are things where they need help from others. My mother suffered a sever illness two years back and that made her so weak and fragile. I want them to stay with me and they are the reason, I left Delhi and shifted to a city near to my home town. I want to be available for them whenever needed. But yes this thought scares me some time that I can't change the universal laws of birth and death.

  9. This is so heart warming. My parents look aged now that I have been married since 4 years. My mom aged after she lost her dad two years ago. And my dad lost his mom two months ago. I always pray that they both have a good health and stay happy

  10. One post I can totally relate to. My relationship with my parents changed a bit post I got married We talk less now but my respect value and concern for them has grown multifold.

  11. I am very close to my mom and she is my super hero. The one who has stood by me unflinchingly and now as I am in mu 30's she still stands by me, takes care of my daughter and home and gives me a breather to focus on my dreams. I don't see any reason why parents should take a backseat in the priority list. Maybe a child may not be able to dedicate much time due to other things cropping up but as a child its our duty towards our parents and we should expect nothing from our kids in case we cant fulfil our duties towards our parents.

  12. I agree with the above lines. I'm going through somewhat similar phase when it comes to my parents. I miss them even more as I'm 8 hours away from them after marriage 🙁
    I wonder what would I do when my younger sister gets married 🙁
    #vigorousreads #MyFriendAlexa

  13. Really touching piece Sushmita. In today's times also you have these feelings…amazing…I could totally relate to that.
    #MyFriendAlexa #ContemplationOfaJoker #Jokerophilia

  14. This is a pretty scary feeling to know that our parents are getting old day by day. I still remember my mom as the most active and energetic person I have known. I have never seen her saying words like 'tired' or 'can't do this' but I know she's getting old and not able to do things with as much ease as she used to a few years ago. The only thing I can give her is my time and love and assurance that I am always with her. Now it's our turn to take care of them. Your post has made me so emotional, Sushmita. Superb post! Lots of love and hugs to you!

  15. Emotional post and true. They are your priority now, as they age, we need to have more patience. When we get married priorities change. We will have kids who are dependent on us in their early years but at the same time parents age and they need us more than before. It is tough to manage and satisfy everyone.

  16. Thanks for speaking MY mind through your beautiful post… As I am far away from them, a sense of guilt always surrounds me! Maybe I should take the cue and write a post about my feelings and dilemmas…

  17. I can understand your dilemma. I have been in the USA for last 12 years and I see my parents once in two or three years. Few things are not in our hands and we can do our best to make the resent beautiful. I try to call them everyday and whenever I visit India, I try to spend as much as I can with them. Try to share their work load.
    #MothersGurukurads #Myfiendalexa

  18. I have thought and felt this too! My parents have aged quite a bit post my marriage too. i stop myself from thinking about it – worrying about it is not worth the time I spent on it. I feel I should find more time to spend with them !!

  19. Very well penned. When ever I get the thought that my parents are aging I literally get goosebumps and just cannot deal with the fact that they are aging. But guess this is part and parcel of life… #MyFriendAlexa

  20. Hey Sushmita this is a heart touching post. Yes, we all will agree some day. But it is difficult to accept strong and energetic parents who helped you become what you are and always there for you now themselves need help.

  21. Hey Sushmita, I also feel so. Today I am married and busy with my blogging and family. Now when I go to my mom's place, I see that my parents have become old and weak. They are not energetic as 10 years before. I accept the reality but I miss my old strong parents. I know I will also be old but…..
    They have become so moody. But I realize when a child is moody, parents don't abandon them likewise it's for old parents now.

  22. This was a topic that was and still is, brushed under the topic. It shud be discussed openly and proper geriatric care shud be provided by the government. #wordsmithkaurreads

  23. My father is 84 and my mother is 78. They live in Chennai and I live in Kochi. I visit them every two months. I phone them up everyday to inquire about their health and they get irritated sometimes. My sister lives in UK and she also worries about them constantly. She tries to visit every 6 months. I too depended heavily on my parents during my growing up years. I empathize with you and understand exactly how you feel.

  24. I wish we could turn the clock back as far as our parents go, Sushmita. I often have the same kind of thoughts about my mom and my mom in love. All we can hope is that they live healthy, fruitful lives and remain independent. All the best to you and your parents!
    #DeepTiesReads #MyFriendAlexa

  25. I totally understand you. I am the eldest of the two and I wasn't really bothered about marriage for as long as I know. I finally found a person who gets along with my parents and is encouraging me to take care of them just like the way I used to. Though I stay with my in-laws, my parents are my priority. I have a little sister who will be married in another year or two and I couldn't imagine how it is going to be. Just the thought makes it a tough time. You will find a person who resonates with your thoughts and you will also find ways to take care of them. And yes, it pains a lot to see them age right before us.

  26. This has been on my mind a lot. My father and mothre did so much for me during my pregnancy and in my first year with baby and even today they seem to have boundless energy for my son. But I can see they are getting older. They need to slow down and rest. I wish they would do it too.. but then i cant stop relying on them either. I think I just dont want to believe they are ageing.

  27. You've spoken my mind. I find myself in a similar situation as you. My parents are ageing and right before my eyes. And, almost everyday, I cannot help but think what will happen to me when they die. Or worse, what if I go first? What will happen to them. This fear can be very crippling.
    [@samantha_rjsdr] from
    Whimsical Compass

  28. My eyes misted on reading this – because this is a subject which I have been thinking about a lot these past few months. Both sets of parents stay in another city and I feel we have only a decade or so…that thought alone wants me to wrap up things here and move with them to be closer with them. To cherish these years with them. Though parents put up a brave fight, they will never admit before kids they are not well, they are ageing and I can see that. It breaks my heart to see them losing their health little by little. For the same reason, my husband and I have promised ourselves that we will look after our health so that we can be up on our toes till the very end.

  29. Very well written post. It is hard to digest that our parents who have been near superhuman for the best part of our lives suddenly get weak, tired, start taking pills for diabetes, blood pressure etc. We have to understand and accept that once we come into this world, we start journeying towards the inevitable destination. Our parents might be ageing in front of our eyes, yes. But, we are also growing old. We need to understand and start planning our lives accordingly.

  30. I am sailing in the same boat. Once they stood as rock are now fragile n need assistance n care. We all take care of their needs. Do your part. #MyFriendAlexa #ilaenjoys #Blogchatter

  31. Sushmita, take care of your parents and more importantly make sure that they are not alone. Parents are irreplaceable and as someone who lost them few years back, I know what you are talking about. Hugs.

  32. This is such a heartfelt post. I have been going through this too for some time. Mostly when my mother's leg pains increase and my father gets tired due to long travels. This was not the case earlier. And this fact is indeed hard to digest.

  33. I can relate with this completely. Taking care of elders is more difficult in a country like India where there is no provision/infrastructure of geriatric care or any mental health assistance given to care-givers as well. I've no solution to offer but just telling you that most of us are on the same boat.

  34. First of all let me give you a hug. This is such an honest and heartfelt post. It's the Circle of life and sooner or later we will step into their shoes. Be close to them as much is possible but don't feel guilty about it. I'm sure they will understand it too. We are three sisters and even after our marriages we have managed to be next to our parents whenever they needed us. Dad is no more and Mom continues to live alone ( by choice ). Yet, we meet every other day and go for holidays together. The time that we have with our parents is valuable and I can see how sensitive you are to their changing ways. I think that's what matters. Loving them, communicating with them and being with them whenever there's an opportunity. Great post!

  35. Nice sharing. There is a nice advertisement 'My Daddy strongest', from that position we find our parents becoming weaker and weaker with time, they become totally dependent on us, not able to maintain pace with time, in addition to becoming weaker. We have to see our role-models becoming so, we have to anyway!

  36. This is a wonderfully written blog. So touching!! I shared a different outlook towards parenting, but once I became a mother, I realised how tough it is. If we can throw tantrums, they too can. If we can be adamant, they too can.

  37. This is such a heartbreaking post (: and so true… Suddenly, my parents seem to be ailing with diseases too, and makes me feel so much more vulnerable.. You put the feeling in words!

  38. Well this is the way how things work in India but ultimately we have to understand that parents do age and we step into their shoes eventually and have to take the responsibility. It doesn't work this way in the country where I live. Its different and sometimes things astonishes me here. Its strange and weird but that's how it is and there is no solution to it!And it will be the same case for us and everyone who has stepped into this world!

    Coming here after a long time. Feels Good and your Blog looks good and near. Your header photo with your parents is Gold! I love it, Sush!


  39. Living here in US I have reliazed .. somewhere Indian economy is and less number or jobs .or jobs only in selected cities like Hyderabad, Bangalore etc.. has left no choice but to take a job outside your hometown… Comparing to USA where a person can find a job any location he would want and can be with family..

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