The Living Years

When was the last time you told your mum & dad that you love them? That you appreciate all they have done for you over the years?

2 years ago my parents went through a health turmoil, leaving them at a fragile condition. They are better now thankfully, but that had left me with the understanding that my mum & dad would not be around forever. As children, we are used to having our parents there for us, every step of the way. When we grow up and fly away from the safe haven called home, we are likely to come back for comfort and advice when we need it. Later on we get to the age where we simply appreciate how much effort it takes to parent and care for our young, and we then see our own parents in a different light, a more appreciative one, recognising what they had to go through over the years. Of course, along the lines we are likely to fight with them every step of the way, but that’s a different story…

Unconditional love is what we take for granted, while we should embrace it and give back, both ways, to the old generation and the young one. They were there for us when we were charging our way through the challenging teenage years, arguing with them about pretty much everything with mostly no common sense. Then, the journey continues through young adult life, where they are directing us through our university years, first job and relationships. And once we turn them into grandfathers, we would observe how their eyes are suddenly shining when they look at their very own grandchildren, while on the other hand look at us, proud of how mature we have become as parents. Of course, they will definitely criticize our way of modern parenting, but that’s a different story…

What a wonderful sight it is, a family gathering of three generations. In today’s western society, grandma and grandpa are often there to support the parents raising up their young children, relying on the roots of such habit back in historic days when young adult men were hunting, while young adult ladies were gathering, so the mission of raising the children was shared by the older generation in the village.

We don’t know how much time have we got left, before things will change, forever. Those pieces of advice we are getting from mum and dad are to be cherished, those magic moments between our children and our parents are not to be missed, as they construct special memories that both of them would keep forever. Embrace these moments, appreciate the time we’ve got left, as this is getting shorter and shorter as time goes by.

And even though we have some arguments with our own parents, disagreements due to different approaches to life and effectively differences between how they see the world compared to how we see it in the early 21st century, we should not focus on those gaps. We should appreciate that while we might not always agree with their opinions, their advice is always coming from a good place, good loving heart, that one day we will miss forever…

I wasn’t there that morning
When my Father passed away
I didn’t get to tell him
All the things I had to say
I just wish I could have told him in the living years

Mike & The Mechanics