Who wants a perfect daughter?-A A +A
Bahin sang Bubay
Sunday, October 27, 2013
THERE seems to be a great “harvest” going on these days, as friend after friend have been confronted with that inevitable part of living, and that is losing a dearly beloved parent. After my family finally took our own elderly to his resting place, I become aware of some friends who are undergoing their own ‘losses’ too, and it’s quite disconcerting.
But then, as they say, dying is as much a part of living. When I was a child, I used to dread the thought of losing my parents. I would never entertain any “morbid” thoughts, including that difficult process that we, humans had to undergo before we finally give up the struggle and gently give in to that most feared character in my childhood which has been graphically interpreted by artists in the guise of a hooded skeleton bearing a long stick with a sharp blade at the top to “scythe” humans to their perdition.
Funny how that thought seemingly persisted through the years, as one after another, I personally witnessed the demise of my dear parents and those of my ‘in-laws’. During those difficult moments, I would be filled with regrets at some point, as I have always suspected that I have never been the person that my parents would have wanted me to be. These were hind thoughts that did not really help me be at rest.
Some days ago I visited a dear friend whose mother was lying in state at one of the local funeral parlor. When we got to talk, I realized that we shared the same angst, as she started to recount how it was for her mother during the last few days before her mother passed away.
As if listening to myself, she recounted how intimate mother and daughter had become, as my friend had to do to keep her comfortable, cleaning her mother all over as daughters are expected to. Being the only female in the family, my good friend, who was not trained to care for the sick like her mother (having been an Operating room nurse in her younger days), had to have her crash course.
“I’m not a perfect daughter,” she said, as there were times that she would lose her patience in the course of her care-giving. But then who wants a perfect daughter? I shared to her my experiences too, and assured her that I haven’t been one myself, but I know it was not expected of me.
What our elders need during the few days that they had to endure their mortality, is a loving care that only their own can give. Care-giving can be had or given by just anybody, but the one that is afforded by a loving child is incomparable and most desired.
It is the kind of loving that emanates from the deepest core of a child’s longing for her or his parent, something that need not be asked for or demanded, but that which is freely given and afforded.
Children who learn the art of loving the family from their very own parents automatically act on what needs to be done, never needing any promptings or demands. When parents teach filial love by openly expressing this for their own elderly, who needs urgings?
It is the day to day expression of love and caring that really matters, not much of talking and lecturing. Parents who did their job right never even have to worry about who will care for them when their time comes. Simply put, no parent is really looking for a perfect daughter or son. I don’t.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 28, 2013.