Parents can be our greatest heroes. For some, they become their greatest frustration. For too many, they remain only a name from their past. For others, they are blamed for the baggage that keeps them from succeeding. Death has taken some of our parents whose memories remain vivid in our hearts forever.
It’s hard to understand the meaning of being a parent until you have lived through raising a family. Not only the first day home from the hospital but to the day your child moves out on their own. When they have to get their own health insurance. When you have trouble paying all of the bills. When your child graduates 8th grade. When you have lived through their first rebellion as a teenager. When they begin to date and then marry.
So many stories can be told both by parents and children of their relationship with each other. In times of sickness a child desperately needs their parents. The security that a parent can offer cannot be matched by a friend. There is safety in a parent’s love. Forgiveness and discipline are felt in so many unspoken ways through our lifetime relationship with our parents.
As a child we have trouble seeing our parent’s wisdom. As a parent, we too have trouble seeing our children’s dreams. Seeing that they grow to be responsible, parents become surprised by the newness and uniqueness of the child they held so close at one time.
Then a child sees their parent begin to age. Years begin to steal their energy, interest, health and their mind. The need for a hug still is so important only the roles begin to reverse. It is the child who gives a parent a hug so that they feel safe. As age takes its toll, it is the parent who welcomes the child’s presence back into their life during their time of struggle. For it makes them now feel safe.
No matter our circumstance, a child always needs their parents. As our parents age, they begin to need their children even more. This is a miracle of life that our busy lives easily ignore.
It’s time to stop. To both give a hug and share a hug for all of us were someone’s child and most a parent later.