Narcissus' Echo

Thoughts, tears, rants, ruminations, hopes, fears, love(s), and prayers of just another being passing through this wracked sphere...

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A round peg in a world of square holes...

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Losing heroes, and becoming one

Spent 10 hours researching in the library today... At one point, my eyes were so tired that I read "Carver" for "cave," which brought me back to June 2003, where I spent the month driving my parents around the south island of New Zealand in a Subaru WRX. At one point, I discovered this section of caves in the southern central region of the island and dearly wanted to bring them caving, but reason got the better of me, and reminded me that they were too old, too fragile; a slip and a fall would be far more than a matter of a sprained ankle and a bruised ego; we would have a medical emergency in our hands.

When we were growing up, we look to our parents to rescue us from trouble; to protect us from the monsters in the closet, or lurking under the bed; to lift us up bawling from toppled bicycles, dress our scraped knees; save us from drowning when, against admonitions, we sneak to the adult section of the swimming pools; to coo our fears away when nightmares visit... When do we notice the crossing of the line where we no longer require their rescue? When do we notice that the roles have been reversed, and that our parents need our care, protection and rescue now? When do we realize that we are their heroes now? That we were always their heroes; that they've just been grooming us for this day all along.

How will we deal with it, face it, when they cross the bar? Every child thinks their parents will live forever; like their comic book superheroes, they never die. But that is not the case. Not thinking about it does not not make it so. It still happens. It WILL happen. So treasure your parents. Tell them--show them--just how much you love them. Care for them.

There is no definitive handbook to parenting. We often forget that parents are human too. They were once just as wild or clueless as we are. A pair (if you are lucky) of regular folk doing the best they can, learning as they go along, how to survive, how to create a household, how to bring up a child.

What I am trying to say is, everyone makes mistakes. No one is perfect. Parents are no exception. Make up, or, if that is impossible, make your peace while there is time, while they are still around. Because, if you don't, when they cross the bar, rest assured that you will have an entire lifetime to regret. And this time, there is nothing you can do about it. You will be one of those sorry schlubs who call The Psychic Hotline at $5.00 a minute to talk to the souls of your dead parents, telling them how sorry you are... while Miss Cleo & company build mansions, buy limos, with the currency of your grief.

You are the hero now. Save their golden days. Save the relationship. Save the memories. Save yourself.


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