I realized something as I watched my elderly parents leave my house, and it hit me hard.

The last several months have served as a reminder that I am getting older, especially as I prepare for an empty nest. However, in my efforts to deal with the aging of my own children, I have honestly lost sight of the fact that my own elderly parents are also aging… My parents dropped over the other day to drop off a delayed birthday gift because I was in Arizona on my actual birthday.

I watched my parents leave my house and go down my front stairs toward their car after they ended their visit. My father took my mother by the arm and gently guided her down the short stairs of my porch.As I watched my elderly parents walk away, it dawned on me that my parents were becoming older… It almost took me by surprise, which is strange because they did not turn elderly all at once. It has been happening gradually over many years.

But, because my own life has been undergoing so much upheaval and change as a result of my children growing up and moving out during the previous few years, I had somehow forgotten to realize how much my own parents were aging… It also made me sad. As a child, you regard your parents as unbeatable grownups. We imagine our fathers as huge, strong guys who work hard, protect us, and take care of everything.

We regard our mothers as caregivers who are always present to ensure that our needs are met and that we are always aware that we are cherished. I don’t know about the rest of you, but my parents have always appeared to me to be locked in time. They appeared to be the same age to me throughout my childhood. Young, strong, and energetic. That’s how they’ve always appeared to me. That is, up until now.

Now I see a sweet little white-haired mother who is delicate and breakable, and a gray-haired father who moves a little slower than he used to. Both are now in their mid-70s, and it is slowly dawning on me that one day (and I hope for many more years) these two people who have been the absolute rock and foundation of my existence may no longer be on this world with me.

I can’t even think about it without breaking down in tears. Even as I write this, tears rise up in my eyes. I am not prepared for the day when my old parents will no longer be with me. I simply am not. They have been my leaders and anchors throughout my life. When I need guidance, I know I can call my father, and when I need pity, I know I can call my mother.

And I don’t want to think of the day when I won’t be able to pick up the phone or knock on their door and have them answer it.However, it is a truth that I must begin to realize so that I do not take each moment I have with them for granted.I need to spend more time with my folks. I need to prioritize spending quality time with them.

I need to make sure I obtain their advice on things I should know for the future now so I don’t miss out on it while they’re both still here with me.I need to ask them to tell me more stories about their lives and all the things they’ve learnt that might be useful to me someday. I need to make sure I tell them how much I love them and how much they mean to me while they are still alive to hear it.

Everyone reading this site has old parents who are aging if you are still fortunate enough to have them on this planet. The reality is that no matter how old your parents are, any of us could lose them at any time. Let us all make an effort to spend more time with them, express more love to them, and make them feel appreciated while they are still with us.

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