"I was not ready to become my father's father": the words of a son who can't accept seeing his parents grow old
Time passes inexorably, it always goes forward and never backwards and we, caught up in our hectic lives, don't realize how fast it is, how much we become adults in no time at all, how much in a simple blink of an eye we we find ourselves transformed completely. If until the day before it seemed to us that we were still teenagers living in our parents' house who never seem to get old in our eyes, in a flash we find ourselves instead becoming parents of our own parents, who with the passing years become ever more like "children to look after" ...
A universal reflection which, however, for many adult children is never easy to face; many people really struggle, at least at the beginning, to accept that time has passed so quickly and that their parents, who seemed immortal at the beginning, are now elderly and need care, affection and closeness. Ultimately, no one is ever truly prepared to parent their parents. A reflection that the psychologist Alejandro Schujman wanted to collect and put pen to paper thanks to the many testimonies of his patients:
"My father is already 92 years old. Every week he waits for Sunday for "the story. "We both love the world of fantasy. He taught me to navigate the universes of princesses, pirates, dragons, castles, elves and unicorns. But as my hero he has always been more fantastic. Today he no longer walks, but waits like a child in his wheelchair to be surprised. Fifty years later, I am the one who invents the stories. I give back something of what he gave me as a child. A cycle is closing, beautiful and sad at the same time; like life itself, isn't it? "
The words of this psychologist are moving because they perfectly encapsulate what all of us adult children think when faced with our elderly parents, forced to sit in a chair, to lie in a bed, when we still have fresh in our memory the most beautiful memories of our childhood and of how our mother or father made it magical and unforgettable: "The strong arms that cradled us today tremble. The looks that protected us today are confused and fearful faces. It breaks my heart to see them so fragile, defenseless. Before, my father held me in his arms, he was an oak, and now it's my turn, he has become a porcelain doll. I can't get used to seeing him like this," continued Schujman.
Strong, moving words, which cannot help but provoke a few bitter tears; after all, as this psychologist also maintains, no one is really ever prepared to become a "parent of their parents"; but when this moment comes, we will know very well that one circle is closing, and another is opening: we must face this new phase with strength and courage, and repay our elderly parents for all those kisses and caresses that they once gave us.
Because love for a mother or father, even if they are elderly, lasts forever.