You know you’ve grown up and no longer a child when you start worrying about your parents’ health and wanting to look after them. That’s how I currently feel when I look at them, only to realise how their once black hair are starting to turn into a mop of grey, each newly coloured strand signifying the inevitable aging process.
The past year has not been easy for all of us with both my grandmothers leaving us within a few months apart. I can only imagine how much more painful it must be for my parents. And now, with my grandfather’s illness, it seems like my mom will be in for a rough time. Having to witness her shuttling back and forth between work and the hospital makes my heart ache. Especially with the soles of her feet hurting. Not to mention, there’s the whole coronavirus situation which makes hospitals less of an ideal location to be in. The only thing I can do now is to constantly advice her to wash her hands, how to wear and dispose of a mask properly etc … oh how our roles have switched – now I’m the one doing all the nagging.
Sitting down and reflecting like this makes me emotional – I’m so very grateful to have been blessed with such wonderful parents like them, yet at the same time, I feel guilty whenever I recall the moments where I behaved less than ideally. Sometimes, I get so caught up from looking at things in my perspective that I forget to consider theirs. Sometimes I don’t see their hidden sacrifices and forget that they exist.
But only thinking about such things won’t help. After all, actions speak louder than words. I’m putting this post out here so that even after years down the road, I’ll look back and be reminded once again of the love my parents have showered me with, and how it’s now my turn to do the same.
I want to be a better daughter. I want to treat my parents to nice meals and experiences, buy them quality items that will improve their standard of living. Oh how I wish I can buy a good solid comfortable pair of shoes for my mom’s poor feet but alas according to Chinese customs, its a bad idea to buy your elders a pair of shoes. For now what I can think of to gift my parents is to:
1. help them out with household chores as much as possible
2. spend as much of my free time with them especially my dad who is retired and home alone most of the time
3. be more sensitive to their feelings and stop acting like a brat
4. encourage my parents to lead healthier lifestyles and cook nutritious meals for them
5. being my mom’s personal trainer and doing home workouts with her so that she actually gets some exercise done
It’s only a few more weeks before it’s back to school and I’ll be in a different continent from my family, with only Skype to bridge the distance. Going back to Adelaide this time round is going to be much tougher, after these past few glorious months of being together. I’m going to cherish the rest of my summer holiday with them and start putting my above plan into action.
And though I highly doubt they’ll see this post, I just want to put it out here loud and clear: I love you mom and pops – thank you for everything.
To my readers out there, I hope this post inspires you to care for your parents more too. Now put your phone or laptop away, and tell them ‘I love you’ paired with a hug or kiss.