My Mum passed at end March 2008 after a long and painful battle with cancer. My Dad, who had Alzheimer’s for the past 8 years or so but was otherwise physically healthy, passed at the end of June 2010.
Mum’s death mashed me up for months. Got a flight while she was in the hospice, but just before leaving home in Trinidad to catch a plane to London, where my folks lived since 1958, I got the call from my brother that Mum passed.
I had been travelling to London to visit Dad regularly since Mum died. Was there in March / April of this year and had some real good time with him. Spoke to him on Father’s day and thanked him for all that he’s done for me. For providing me with a good example of what it means to be a gentleman, to respect every human being, to be independent, self-reliant, not to inconvenience people unnecessarily, to always look for ways to develop myself. For introducing me to spiritual pursuits and the fun that can be had from checking out what ancient and modern philosophers had to say about life. For encouraging me to pursue my creative/artistic dreams, especially in music, for respecting my choices and helping me to understand that everything has its consequences.
I’m working my way through Dad passing so soon after Mum. I’m getting there.
I’m 56 and after the funeral stuff was out of the way and the paperwork, sorting of clothes and stuff I returned to Trinidad and memories of my parents are with me for many hours a day. 90 percent real good stuff.
I really realise that I am still a child, or to be more precise my parents’ child. These were great folks, I was not always aware of it while growing up and even in my twenties I was not always ready to embrace just how special and wonderful my mum and dad were. Just how much they really, really loved me and my brother. Just how much they sacrificed, not only financially and stuff, but also how much they put their own views and opinions on pause and allowed us to make our own choices, to find out for ourselves and to find ourselves (of course that journey continues).
It’s at times overwhelming to think about how much a part of me they are and will always be. Scenes of my childhood play on my mind-screen with associated feelings re-stimulated, re-experienced, re-felt (if there was such a word I’d use it a lot right now).
A friend in a similar position recently discussed the aspect of relationships with our parents and of being adult orphans.
As we get older we start to parent our parents and for some of us it’s not long before our children begin to parent us. Yes it is indeed all part of life. We don’t choose how we arrive and don’t usually have a say in how we depart, but in between we do have choices and that’s where the wonders can happen.
Appreciation of the moments we have often helps us to focus on that which enables us to stand, open our eyes and focus on the light ahead. It may only be a tiny dot, but as we continue to walk it gets bigger. As it increases in size we can be motivated to keep moving forward, guided by the Light, embraced by the Light, sharing the Light.