It’s funny how you go about life with inbuilt assumptions and unconscious beliefs even though you consider yourself reasonably rational and unbiased.
That’s human nature, I guess, but it still catches me by surprise from time to time.
I’m 38, open minded, intelligent and independent. I’m lucky enough to still have my grandmother here with us, as well as both my parents and both of my parents-in-law. And maybe that’s the problem.
They have always been there so I expect they always will. And that’s where I have been dealt a rather harsh reality check recently.
My parents are in their 70s – my Dad turned 74 last month, around the time he was admitted to hospital for a week with heart and respiratory issues. They are no longer spring chickens. There are more silver strands in their hair than brown, their gait has slowed down a tad and they are now fast friends with the folk at their local medical practice.
I guess that comes part and parcel with the aging process, after all.
The funny thing is I just haven’t noticed them getting any older. They have always been Mum and Dad. Up until now, they have been as they have always been, to my rose-coloured eyes, anyway.
They are still active. They head off camping for a few months every year. They have travelled around Australia and have an active social life. Perhaps that why I have been blind to the march of time?
But as I approach 40 and middle age that means they inexorably inch closer to old age. And what comes next.
Being a much cherished daughter, I have always been a Daddy’s girl and have always looked up to my Father. He has always been strong. Bulletproof. Always there when I needed help or advice or support. Always able to be relied upon.
However strong and reliable he might be, he is mortal and not actually bulletproof, after all. His recent health scare and slow recovery has proved that beyond a doubt. And there is every chance he won’t ever fully recover.
And that is a truth that, deep down, I’d still rather not acknowledge.
Are you still lucky enough to have your parents with you? Have you had trouble accepting that they won’t be here forever? Or am I the only deluded one among us?