Love your parents

By Julia Fernandes

June 4, 2011


The trouble with the family is that children grow out of childhood, but parents never grow out of parenthood. -- Evan Esar, The Comic Encyclopedia


My dad is 74 years old and my mom is 67 years old. While dad is forgetful and cannot remember the things he does, mom has a mild hearing difficulty. When we have to talk to mom we have to make sure we speak very slowly and loudly, almost emphasizing every word.


So, at times it becomes a humourous situation when Mom misinterprets the words we tell her. Just a few days back when I woke up in the morning I mistook some sinister looking jumbled thread for a dead cockroach. When I looked closely I realized it was a just a thread. I told mom it is a thread, my mom heard is it dead? Some situations make you laugh but sometimes when we siblings come home after a hard day’s work it becomes so frustrating for us to hold a normal conversation without getting agitated. But our mom’s cute wide-eyed innocent looks at wondering what exactly we spoke simply melt away all our anger.


Every day my dad will come and ask me, "What is today’s date?" I look up and tell him the date and he goes to the calendar and encircles the particular date. He does this religiously on a daily basis. Nobody knows why he does it. Maybe it is his way of remembering the date. To realize that your father depends on you to tell him a simple date reflects how vulnerable our parents are when they grow old.


When parents are advancing towards old age, they become increasingly dependent on their children. I realized that as children we got to be patient with their slow and incoherent speech the same way they were patient with our babble talk when we were small. We got to hold their hands and walk slowly with them exactly the way they held our tiny hands and guided us lovingly as we took our first baby steps. Do not get upset if they break or forget things. They were patient with you when you broke your toys or forgot your lessons.


It would be wonderful to involve your parents in every area of your life. Just because today they are old, it does not mean that at some point they were not young. Across all centuries, a parent’s love and concern for their child will always be the same.


Take care of your parents not because they are your responsibility but because you love them enough to take care of them. Be kind and patient with them. Treat them with dollops of love and most importantly, time. Your meetings, work, parties, games, and friends, all can wait. But do not keep your parents waiting. For once they enter the twilight years of their life, they will soon be gone. 


They may not be the best parents in the world, but that should not stop you from being the best child in the world!