Watching Your Parents Age is An Emotional Fight. Period. › Sushmita Malakar

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?

95 Comments
  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. 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!