It has been hard for me to write lately, not from lack of imagination, but more from the feeling of uselessness I have been struggling with on a daily basis since the start of this new year.
This morning I saw this video that a friend had shared on her Facebook, I wasn’t able to continue it through in one seating and had to stop it multiple times to clear my eyes and the ideas running in my memory; it made me cry, and made me smile; but most importantly I was so appalled at the fact that they kept repeating the words “I’m sorry” when they never had to.
The video is an open letter from parents to their children, and I believe everyone needs to watch it.
Being born and growing up within a family, we take for granted all the time our parents have given us, the times we overwhelmed them when they were tired or angry, and still had the patience of taking good care of us, raising us to become the person we are today.
Without my parents I wouldn’t be who I am today, and neither will you, since we all influence each other in one way or another. And we all have to get ready for the day where we will have to pay for this care by caring for our parents in return; for me being Lebanese and having lived closely attached to both my parents and grandparents, I feel and know I will have to care for them when the time comes. After all life is a cycle where you go from being a child, to maturing into a full adult, until once again you turn into this little child that needs to be taken care of.
I owe my parents as much as they have given me, and even more for having taught me how to love and care, when to play and be serious, and how to respect above all, those that came before me.
So when I watched this video of parents excusing their behavior to their children, begging them to accept whom they have become with age and the needs they have, and most of all having to explain each action; I couldn’t help but first, be reminded of these families that send out their parents to elderly homes so they wouldn’t have to take care of their burden, or simply ignore them and let them fade away on their own.
I’ve seen this repeated over the years by families abroad, in books I have read and movies I have watched. When for me, without saying, I know that I will have to, and want to, be the one who cares for my elders, show them love and respect, for after all, they gave me love more than I can ever ask for, and taught me the ways of life: all a person needs is a gentle touch from someone who genuinely loves them to know that they will be OK.
This video also reminded me of my grandmother, teta as some of you have read in my previous post has been in the hospital for a month, after being struck by dementia for the past 5 years, watching her memory fade was one of the toughest things I had to endure, but not as tough as it was on my mother and her siblings.
But there was one easy way for us to make her feel safe, we would stroke her hand and watch her features relax, stroke her hair and see her eyes flutter and close as a newborn child would under the touch of his mother.
This video has reminded me to mourn her loss, and accept the reality of things. It has also reminded me that one day I will have to be as good as my parents if not better when comes my turn to care for them. After all, and at the end of the day, they are the ones who sacrificed so much to provide to me and my siblings all they could.
It doesn’t hurt to remind yourself and those you love that you love them, and that nothing will ever change that. Say I love you, or stroke their hand, the message will always be the same: I will be there for you when you need me, just like you were here when I needed you.
In memory of my teta, a tough woman that my family had to watch fade away into nothingness, leaving behind all the best memories and lessons in life.
I love you and miss you.