«Children’s children are the crown of old men, and the glory of children is their father»
SOME TIME AGO, while I was at the gate of an airport, I observed a very unique pair. They were two ladies who, like me, were preparing to board a flight. My attention increased when the eldest of them called her companion «daughter.» Then I realized they were mother and daughter. The younger lady accommodated her mother into a seat, took her purse, and began reviewing the documents she had inside. Every once in a while, she would look at her mother and say, «Mom, do you understand what I’m saying?» And she would add: «This is your passport. Take a good look at where it is. Don’t take it out, because if it gets lost, you won’t be able to travel.» The older woman nodded with a slight head movement as a sign that she understood, and would follow her daughter’s instructions. That’s when I remembered the same style of communication I used to have with my daughters when they went to preschool. I would remind them of their school supplies and instructed them to be very careful with them, for if they were lost they would not be able to do homework or follow the teachers In class.
Today my two daughters are adults, and I realize as I did at the airport, that a transfer of roles has occurred. Sometimes I act like a daughter and they are like my mom. This is a reality that many parents who are older already live: we become something like the children of our children.
When physical vitality decreases, when the eyes only see short distances, and the ears invent words because they are not able anymore to grasp what said; when the legs bend like a reed moved by the wind, when the older trembling hand seeks the support of a younger, what a pleasant, rewarding, and comforting thing and comforting thing is to have tender and loving children, who respect and love you for all that you have meant in life to them.
Dear friend who reads these lines, if you have older parents, enjoy their company, learn from their wisdom, listen to their sometimes long and repetitive conversations, and don’t forget that despite the mistakes they made, they are the ones who love you the most, after God.