Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Parents and children

The pain of leaving home for the first time

A loving-family source of happiness

Bringing children is never an easy job as many parents will agree. Parents need to spend time, energy and money to provide all their needs from the time they are conceived right until adulthood. The most important need of a child is none other than love which is priceless but the most valuable. Parents in general are very generous in providing this love to their children even without they asking for it.They must be aware that the more love they give the more difficult it would be for them to endure the suffering that comes on separating from them when the time comes.

If only children understand the true feelings of the parents towards them, there will not be many neglected parents at the twilight of their lives. The main problem is when the children grow up they tend to forget the memories of the past which they spent with their parents and other siblings. The past is a lesson for the present and future and if one remembers and cherishes the past he/she will invariably turn out to be a good person no matter what challenges that he may encounter in his life.

A happy young family

A friend of mine just returned after sending his only daughter to college. I was shocked at the state of mind he and his wife were. They were so sad that they could not carry on with their normal work as usual. They break down on and off when talking about their daughter whom they seem to visualise in whatever they do. Another friend is so upset his only daughter would soon be getting married and leave home to be with her husband in another state. Listening to many such friends brings to mind my own experiences of such partings.

Many years ago at the age of 20, when my late father sent me to the university it was an emotional and heart-breaking moment separating from him. I was very, very sad when he left me. I still remember the sad and agonising look on his face which made me cry. I knew he too was sad but I did not understand the extent of his sadness at that time as he managed to remain composed and put up a brave front to reassure me. I knew the separation was temporary and was for a good cause but emotions are hard to control and only time could heal the pain and heartache it causes. My father may not be around anymore but the emotional scene of that first parting remains vividly in my mind, to remind me of his goodness, and it brings a great deal of admiration and respect for him.

Parents with children during happier times

Thirty years later a similar situation reminded of that parting when this time around I was in the position of my father, sending my own daughter to college. It was when I really understood the true pain and agony that my late father would have undergone when he sent me to the university many years ago. It was no ordinary feeling imagining the child who was so dependent on you leaving for the first time to live all by herself.

Can she manage everything all by herself? Will she be safe being all alone in a strange environment? Can she cope with the problems that will crop up from time to time? Will she be comfortable in the new abode? These are some of the doubts that ran through my mind on leaving her on that happy but dreadful day 6 years ago. As usual only time helped to heal the pain in my heart.

Now I am in again for the next separation when my eldest son too left home to pursue his studies overseas. The same emotions of sadness, fear and anxiety are again being aroused which gave sleepless nights. The only reassurance was that he is going for a good cause and time will definitely heal all the pain that it causes.

I only hope like how I understood the feelings of my father 30 years later, my children too would understand my feelings which I have for them today. If they do then I would have succeeded in my role as a father, friend and guide to them.

Lonely at the twilight of life

Looking around I realise that I am not alone as there are thousands of such parents who suffer in silence when their children leave home for the first time. In fact it seems to be the greatest fear of parents in their fifties and sixties. As parents we hope our children will understand the agonizing moments we undergo when they leave us for the first time. If they do, then we would have succeeded in our roles as parents as then the memories of us would become a conscience in their hearts guiding them to do the right thing under all circumstances.

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