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Hush Daddy… Don’t Fear!

Taking care of an old parent is not easy. My dad lives with me and before I came back to India two months ago, that’s all I wanted- to be with him, so he didn’t have to be alone. God answered those prayers and my husband got an assignment in India. In what better way could my prayers have been answered right? So say all those who stay away from their old parents. I’m not refuting it. In the bigger scheme of things, there’s nothing better than the opportunity to be there for your parents when they need you the most; as they were once there for you when you were young. Its a blessing, a fortunate circumstance, a good deed whose fruit you will reap in future (karma). After all, all that I am today is thanks to my parents – my dad and my mum, right? I know it all.

Yet, I am guilty of being impatient when my dad forgets to turn off the heater or the light switch or the fan. I am guilty of being irritated when he seems distracted and disinterested in a subject of interest to me. I am guilty of being angry when he does whatever he pleases and repetitively talks about his ailments. I am guilty of judging him as being selfish and self-centered and I lose my cool.

But when I do lose my cool, I feel a lot more guilty, probably guiltier than before…because I know all that I am today is because of him.

To all my friends when I confide in you and tell you its frustrating, please understand. It doesn’t mean I love my dad any lesser. He’s definitely a handful but he’s mine.

And to all those who think caring for the old is easy, its not. So pay attention to a caregiver when they talk. All they need sometimes, is a listening ear; not censure or advice.

daddy4.jpg

I watch you, a fraction of what you once used to be,

Dread, loneliness, emptiness in your eyes I see,

“Hush!” I want to say, “Don’t fear,”

“You’re not alone, I’m here…”

 

I see you pace, back and forth, like you’ve been caught

A caged tiger, troubled, smothered in his own thought,

“Stop…” I want to say, ” There’s nothing to worry,”

“You can trust me…you must know that surely…”

 

I remember the past, and everything you’ve done for me.

I’m trying but I’m tired too; I wish you would see,

“Please understand,” I want to say, ” I love you daddy”

You look broken, wounded; I wish you were happy…

 

I’m your girl; I haven’t forgotten.

Growing old and dependent is not something you’ve known,

I know I’ll be there too, one day-

“We’re in this together. Its not easy , for you or for me.  ” I want to say…

 

 

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14 Comments »

  1. Despite your guilt at feeling frustrated, you’re doing a good and loving thing looking after your Dad – many choose not to. Try not to be too hard on yourself and don’t forget to give yourself some time out if you can – you deserve it. 🙂

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    • Thank you Eleanor. Its so good to hear from you. I’m trying my best but its terribly stressful. Thank you so much for understanding and yes I definitely think me and my husband need to take time out. XXX

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ‘I’m trying but I’m tired too’ – one of the worst parts of being a caregiver, especially from a parent is that the person who should care about how you feel has no room / interest in how you feel so you often feel alone and guilty for your negative thoughts – but I’ve talked to many people who feel exactly the same – and I most definitely felt it when I cared for my mother.

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    • Thank you Andrea for understanding. Even as I write this comment, I’m at the hospital with dad:). It’s not a nice feeling- there is anger, irritation and loads of guilt. It’s good to know I’m not alone in feeling this way. I hate eyes that judge me or even the silence that follows after I’ve cribbed from a person who has absolutely no clue and is probably thinking of me as a ‘selfish daughter😊. But put it out there and receiving the support through messages is so helpful. Thank you again🤗

      Liked by 1 person

        • I hope there are more people like you out there who read the post, understand rather than judge critically. True Pragalbha…I probably would have also never understood had I not been in the situation. After all a stranger’s heart always goes out to the weaker person in the equation.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Your last sentence says a lot. Most will not understand the humanness of experiences until themselves having to go through similar ones. So hopefully you take good care of yourself while being so caring with others. Wish you lots of ease and joy.

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  3. This is such a beautiful post, Smitha, it really brought a tear to my eye. My parents live with my family too and, yes, there are some frustrations with elderly people. On the whole, however, they bring such richness to our lives and the lives of our children.

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    • Thank you so much Robbie. You’re right…there’s so much to learn from them but with mom not there, and his health not being good because of which he is not confident of going out on walks etc, dad had been depressed. And that was tiresome. Thankfully he is better now…elderly people are so like little kids.

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