How I wish this could be said of every last parent that had ever had children, but the reality is that there are still many that have given birth to children that have never earned that title. Just about anyone can bring a child into this world, but a parent is one that raises them, looks after them, takes care of them, and puts their life ahead of everything in order that their child, or children, might succeed and make this world a better place when they are gone.
I can recall thinking that my parents were so strong, so invincible, that even the greatest injury or sickness couldn’t put them down for long. They could be wounded, they could get sick, but they were still there when we needed them, still able to rise up and be the people they had to be, because there was no other choice. Now I have children, and now I understand.
Parents can be seen as the heroes, the role models, and even the villains. Which hat we wear on any given day depends on how we handle each given situation, and how our children will respond. We’re not meant to be any more perfect or worse than our parents before us, we’re simply meant to be there. Our parents were not gods, no matter how strong, how dependable, and how strangely omniscient they seemed to be. They were what was needed for any given situation, they were THERE, and that is the main point.
They worked hard to make it seem, to us, that they were strong, when deep down there were days when they had no idea what they were doing, whether they would be able to support us in one way or another, and could only do their best when it came to raising us. Even if money wasn’t a concern, they still wondered if they were doing it right, and they still were afraid at times to screw up, to say or do something that would send us down the wrong path.
Our parents were never perfect, but in our eyes they were the strongest people we’d ever known. Then we grew up, and we realized that all those times they were being strong, it was for our benefit. It was for us that they put up such a brave front, and it was for their family that they never buckled or bent under the weight of a world that cares so little for any of us.
Strength only lasts so long.
If you were one of the many that were lucky enough to have a parent that seemed stronger to you than the bedrock upon which your reality was based, then watching your parents grow old becomes harder each year it continues to happen. These strong, unbreakable figures that back in the day seemed ready to stand in the path of anything that would try to harm you got old. Their will might remain unbroken, but their bodies are not as resilient, and one day we will be the ones that will be seen as the role models, the unbreakable ones, until our children are grown and realize the truth.
Love your parents, teach your children that same love, and always honor those that cared enough to stand up for you when it was needed. They showed you the strength it takes to be a parent, and they gave you the will that’s needed to weather the storms to come. Your parents were strong when they needed to be, and now, so must you be.