Taking care of an old parent is not easy. My dad lives with me and before I came back to India two months ago, that’s all I wanted- to be with him, so he didn’t have to be alone. God answered those prayers and my husband got an assignment in India. In what better way could my prayers have been answered right? So say all those who stay away from their old parents. I’m not refuting it. In the bigger scheme of things, there’s nothing better than the opportunity to be there for your parents when they need you the most; as they were once there for you when you were young. Its a blessing, a fortunate circumstance, a good deed whose fruit you will reap in future (karma). After all, all that I am today is thanks to my parents – my dad and my mum, right? I know it all.
Yet, I am guilty of being impatient when my dad forgets to turn off the heater or the light switch or the fan. I am guilty of being irritated when he seems distracted and disinterested in a subject of interest to me. I am guilty of being angry when he does whatever he pleases and repetitively talks about his ailments. I am guilty of judging him as being selfish and self-centered and I lose my cool.
But when I do lose my cool, I feel a lot more guilty, probably guiltier than before…because I know all that I am today is because of him.
To all my friends when I confide in you and tell you its frustrating, please understand. It doesn’t mean I love my dad any lesser. He’s definitely a handful but he’s mine.
And to all those who think caring for the old is easy, its not. So pay attention to a caregiver when they talk. All they need sometimes, is a listening ear; not censure or advice.
I watch you, a fraction of what you once used to be,
Dread, loneliness, emptiness in your eyes I see,
“Hush!” I want to say, “Don’t fear,”
“You’re not alone, I’m here…”
I see you pace, back and forth, like you’ve been caught
A caged tiger, troubled, smothered in his own thought,
“Stop…” I want to say, ” There’s nothing to worry,”
“You can trust me…you must know that surely…”
I remember the past, and everything you’ve done for me.
I’m trying but I’m tired too; I wish you would see,
“Please understand,” I want to say, ” I love you daddy”
You look broken, wounded; I wish you were happy…
I’m your girl; I haven’t forgotten.
Growing old and dependent is not something you’ve known,
I know I’ll be there too, one day-
“We’re in this together. Its not easy , for you or for me. ” I want to say…
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