Sunday, 23 April 2017

Am I doing enough for my elderly parents?

I was involved in a conversation with a lady. Having talked about various things we ended up talking about India. Apart from the beautiful Indian places she has heard and read about, she mentioned about one other thing she really loves about India - ‘relationship between parents and children’. She spoke about how much children in India care for their elderly parents and how close knit the relationship between parents and children is. She was very outspoken about how the same is very different and worrying in families here.

Where a conversation about India always starts with mention of poverty, corruption and pollution it was a delight to hear about the family values India is known for in the west. While I was delighted to hear this, I could not personally take pride in the statement made about ‘how much Indian children care for their elders’.

I have always been guilty of leaving my parents behind when moving abroad in search of a selfishly bright future. I have never been there with them to even take them for a hospital visit and till today my dad who is turning 70 in a few days time drives himself to the hospital. The fact that I am not there to spend quality time with them makes me feel guilty every time. Most of us in a similar situation are painfully aware that the battle for finding a satisfactory balance between busy career life and caring for parents can never be won - especially when one cannot compromise on priorities. 

We all have parents who never mention openly about their desire to wanting to spend more time with their children but instead ask us not to worry about them. All we can do for such caring parents is what is ‘best’ in our remit to make our parents feel secure, loved and respected irrespective of who we are, how far away we live and how busy we are. Our parents are the reason for our very existence today and the comfortable life we lead.