If you have children you know that they must face the school of hard knocks for them to be better equipped for their future. You want to protect them from fire and from criminals, for instance, but not over protect them from the hurt they get out the process of being friends with other children. You might want to tell your children off, for example, if they have done a misdeed, and let them learn the intricacies of asking for forgiveness and explaining their earlier behaviour. That experience would enable them to face future reprimands with maturity and to del with those squarely.
But I don't think anyone can be faced with ailing parents and be able to deal with it and come out unscathed.
Every time I am about to meet my parents I'd say a prayer to make me cope with them better. I'd psyche myself to be calm and walk the steps with them at their pace.
But alas, when we do meet, I'd be the less than patient me. When my parents came last February, my father, apak, asked me what the sound was, when the ice cream man passed by on his motorbike. I told him it was the ice ceam man. When he passed by the house again, apak asked again, and I told him again. But after a couple of times, I did show impatience. I had wanted to snap. I cannot understand myself-- why couldn't I have been more gracious to him.
My parents came again, this time apak was even more frail, needing a stick to walk with. Because the medication took some time to be ready, hubby took them for a drive around KL and PJ. He knew apak loves to talk about the old days, and try to identify the places he was so familiar with a long time ago. But the drive resulted in him sleeping more and his leg getting swollen again.
I had wanted to take them to do the groceries, but it ended in me feeling a little bit more harassed since apak preferred to sit on the bench and mak taking her time and commenting on almost everything on the shelves. I must be becoming like the harassed city dweller, where everything has to be done at top speed and everything has go according to plan.
Now that they are back in Kuantan, I am lamenting my short time with them. I wish I was more patient and had taken time to listen to them. I wish I had made enough not to work these long hours and stayed closer to them so that I could drop by as I please. I am missing them.