While visiting my parents today, Dad came up to me and said, you know I need to give you a copy of our will.
Excuse me what? – my reaction.
Dad said he was just trying to prepare; he said he’s getting older and the life expectancy in our family is only about 73-74.
As I type these words, the lump in my throat that I’ve known all too well when I think about this reality that will occur someday makes it’s appearance known.
It’s not that I don’t realize that my parents will die someday. I know this logically in my mind. Everything that is born must die, just the law of nature. However; the lump in throat speaks volumes when it says – how can I even picture living in a world where my parents don’t exist anymore?
I cried most of the way home tonight; that thought alone has haunted me for many years. Growing up as an only child, I’ve always felt kind of lonely. I was also pretty sheltered and never felt a true sense of independence.
As I approach my 2 year wedding anniversary, a small part of me is still a little girl waiting for her parents to take care of her. In some ways, I had to grow up a lot sooner, in others, I still haven’t accepted the role of being an adult.
It still amazes me how much my emotions can teach me about what needs to change; in that moment of sadness, I now know what needs to be done. It’s not as simple as just telling myself to “grow up”; it’s about coming to the decision that it’s up to me now to take care of myself. My parents have done their role; it’s time for me to take over.
Even though it’s been 2 years since I’ve gotten married and left home, I feel like I still haven’t really left home. These last 2 years have been challenging and I’ve made excuse after excuse not to fully be present as an adult. I’ve told myself, I’ll do it tomorrow, I can’t do it, I don’t know how to do it, etc. The truth is, I know exactly how to take care of myself.
I believe that little girl doesn’t want to let go. She doesn’t want to let go of her parents’ hands. She wants to hold onto them until she can’t anymore. I know deep down that if I let her do that, it’ll be even harder to let go.
We all face the inevitable truth that someday, our parents will leave us. My hope is that my parents will live to see their grand children grow up. If it happens, I will truly count my blessings. If it doesn’t, I will know in my heart that they will be around, even if I can’t see them.
But more than that, my hope for myself is that whenever their day comes, they will leave knowing that their daughter is well taken care of and they will have nothing to worry about.