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It is never easy to watch our parents growing old; to overlook new wrinkles and ignore new aches and pains that they complain of.
Everything was progressing as usual, until I received that fateful call last October.
It was my uncle!
The timing was odd. I instinctively knew that something was wrong.
My mother had suffered a bad fall. She was severely injured and would need surgery.
She lived 300 km away. The doctor suggested immediate surgery. The decision couldn’t wait till I reached there.
What do we do? Agree? Or wait?
With no warning, whatsoever, I was forcibly thrust into the role of decision-maker.
Never have I had to make decisions on behalf of my parents. It was always the other way around.
But everything changed from that moment forth. For the first time, I was in charge.
After quick discussions with my brother and consulting relatives and friends, I gave the green signal.
Thankfully, I made it there in time for the surgery. Everything progressed smoothly. The surgery was successful. I nursed my Mom back to health and she is now well on the road to recovery.
Now, as I look back at the events that unfolded, I realize that I would never be prepared for such an eventuality. Would you?
As I talk to friends, I realize that we conveniently choose to believe that our parents are invincible. Even while celebrating their 50th, 60th and 70th birthdays, we ignore the fact that they are aging. We refuse to believe that they are growing older.
And then, the day comes when we are jolted awake to a painful reality. Responsibilities that we don’t think we can handle are forcefully thrust upon us.
As much as we may dread it, such a situation is inevitable. When the time comes, we have no options but to rise to the occasion and do what we believe is the right thing.
For me, the whole experience was comparable to the uncertainty and confusion that I dealt with as a new parent; unsure of how to handle a newborn, braving new fears, learning from mistakes and celebrating tiny accomplishments.
But just as taking care of a child becomes easier with time, we will become more adept and experienced in taking care of our parents too. It is a new life lesson, but one that we quickly get accustomed to.
Before long, we will be able to handle this new responsibility with diligence; managing our parents’ fears, being firm about exercise and diet, keeping them entertained and engaged. We will eagerly take over their tasks to let them sit back and relax for the rest of their days.
It is never easy to watch our parents growing old; to overlook new wrinkles and ignore new aches and pains that they complain of. These episodes can trigger an overwhelming sense of fear and despair. Nevertheless, it becomes easier to deal with, in due course of time.
Trust me, it makes us stronger women. Over the course of events, we will discover our inner strength and confidence to keep going.
We will learn to appreciate the time that remains and savor the memories we make every day. We will also learn to take pride in our actions and pat ourselves for being good daughters.
And before we know it, we will be expertly handling what our parents were doing for us all these years—Being in charge!
Always on the lookout for new things to learn, I am a voracious reader, globetrotter, ambitious cook and mom to two precious little men. While I'm not experimenting in the kitchen or resolving sibling read more...
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Trigger Warning: This speaks of domestic violence and graphic gender based violence, and may be triggering for survivors.
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