A love forsaken.. A bond neglected

 

These days, there are many things that you don’t get to see often.  People writing letters. Children playing outdoors.  Someone going out of their way to help another. Children looking after their parents.

Now the last bit I think, is becoming harder to spot, each passing moment of our selfish, valueless lives. When you actually do see something out of the ordinary, it tends to leave an ever lasting impression. There they were, entering a restaurant; A frail, petite, very old lady, walking slowly with the help of, (who I assumed was) her 50-something son. The entire sight was refreshing yet intriguing. Like distorted reflections of life beneath the ocean, as you peer through ripples of water tirelessly circling away. Her wrinkled face, drooping exterior, and bewilderment at her surroundings betrayed her age, which I suppose must have been above eighty. The two spoke another language, but their language of love was enough for me to understand.

He asked her what she wanted to eat. She gave a confused reply. He left and returned with the menu card. That did not help either. This time he spent a good five minutes or so, explaining her options by speaking closely in her right ear. Her expression changed from confused to downright frustrated. The son listened and helped her out with the patience of a mountain. After much discussion, he finally left to place the order. In the meanwhile, she surveyed her surroundings like a child in an unfamiliar place; excited yet fearful. As our eyes met, I smiled and said hi. She passed a scrunched, sweet, satisfied smile back at me. I felt tears well up. I wanted to tell her how lucky she was.

Parents expect a lot of from their children. That’s how it was, is, and always will be. I am a mother myself and I’ll be darned if I don’t end up doing the same! Despite knowing that the love a parent gives can never be reciprocated in the same manner by the child. Essentially, selfless love is the parents’ forte! No son, no daughter can ever repay their parents’ blood and sweat.  But that surely does not give us, the children, a one-way ticket to ‘That’s no longer my problem’ land. That does not mean we can turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to our parents whenever we deem suitable. That certainly does not mean we can’t pluck out a few hours from our so-called busy schedules, for them, and them alone.

Maybe its time to collect all those years of lost time and wrap them up with sheepish little bows of gratitude, just for our parents. That precious heart-to-heart over tea, or that one-on-one shopping spree; that moment of silence shared together, or that casual walk in the park; they just want their babies near by. Sadly, even that is too much to ask for these days.  In countries like Pakistan, countless children like myself, have moved continents away from their parents, in hopes of securing better futures, or whatever that really means. Some are lucky enough to have their parents move too. But many are left to question their own beliefs, values, and priorities when they encounter such taxing situations. In most cases, I see parents at the loosing end. They send off their children, emotions tainted with bitter sweet sorrow, topped with a vicious lump stuck down their throats. And if they decide to move too, then they do so willingly but with an even bigger lump. How easy is it to give up a life you have lived forever? Yet how easy is it to live away from beings you call your life?

So many questions. Hardly any convincing answers.

Like always, I choose to ignore the the so-called facts. I choose to hide my head in the sand and pray. I refuse to accept how ‘normal’ this is in the eyes of many. I refuse to grow up. I dream of days of reunion. I hope for a time when I can bring smiles to their faces again through the little things; because honestly, nothing big can be expected from a selfish child. I yearn for a time when my parents will make everything better again, as they did whenever I shed a tear and cried out their names.

It isn’t enough, but its as true as it can be. I love you mama and baba.

 

 

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9 thoughts on “A love forsaken.. A bond neglected

  1. Yes. There are always these conflicting emotions and while they seem to be mutually exclusive; they are not. You can’t even begin to contemplate the pride and happiness your parents feel when they see you prosper. After all you are the fruit of their lives’ labour, and what better gift they could hope for. Life has no rehearsals and each one of us go through the travails individually, learning, and also learning to cope with the disappointments and joys and “what ifs” that come in its wake. You also can’t have your cake and eat it too! My advice; remember the good times and hope for better – I am certain your parents are happy in their circumstances while also thinking about what ifs!

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    1. Children, if they are mentally and physically healthy, generally separate from their parents as soon as they are financially able to do so. They no longer want their parents laying down the rules. Adults, too, want to make their own rules. The idea of living with one’s adult children, no matter how well you get along, can be disconcerting. The intimacy of shared living space can simply mean too much of a good thing.
      People need to be very thoughtful about trying intergenerational living. If they aren’t careful, they will, like many of these families, face the uncomfortable ordeal of telling their parents that the arrangement isn’t working and then looking for other options. Many people end up feeling stuck. So, a clear-minded, judicious thought process before the move is necessary.
      If people choose to go ahead with intergenerational living, they should mutually lay down ground rules for everything from financial issues to privacy concerns. Of course, if you are moving a dying parent or a loved one with late stage dementia into your home, the situation would be different. In that case, you may be filling a gap in care, or simply want to have your parent close for his or her last few months of life.
      However, if you are looking at a long-term setup, realize that several adults living in the same home can create tension. Don’t bring your parents into your home to live long-term if you are trying to fix former childhood issues by proving yourself to them. Also, think carefully about whether guilt is the underlying reasons that you are asking them to move in with you, or if you are buckling under pressure from them to do so. Living together will only work if the arrangement is made for the right reasons and the personalities fit well enough that tension won’t be a daily companion.
      For some people, it’s absolutely the right thing to do. For others, it’s not good for the adult children or the elders. Only you can decide. Just give the move serious thought so you aren’t stuck trying to find a way out of a bad situation.
      Moral: Too much hang around create problem thus distance is the key to love…My two cents…

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      1. Wonderfully explained. The practicality of adult children living with their parents is minimal. Separate abodes but in close proximity; that I believe is the perfect situation.Even being in the same country would suffice. At least at a time when our parents really need us, we are not sitting worlds away, cursing our fates.

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  2. awesome blog nida !!! … you post made me remember my childhood time till now … different times spent with my parents flashed in my mind … and u made me miss them … Thanks for a wonderful post … plus i realized that its true in order to progress in life … we actually never turn back and look into there heart .. that when they are waving with smile on the Airport … what actually is going in there heart … and now … somewhat being a parent … i can understand that how worried and concerned they would be for us … anyway … thanks again !

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  3. Dear,
    The thing i felt after reading your blog was warm-toned sentient & “its straight from the heart ” and it really touched me deep deep deep inside……………& you know ,What touched me the most in your writing was that you made me remember those few wrongs that i had done in my life ……………How can somebody think of repaying their parents in any way ???? just mere thinking of them leaving us some day bring tears to our eyes ……………………….God bless our parents ,and also give us the strength ,firmness and solicitude to take care our parents.

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    1. I guess with parents, one can’t help but be emotional. That’s how beautiful and deep this bond is.God bless our parents..Thank you so much reading:)

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