We have all am sure watched a dozen videos which says, treat your parents with love and affection. I have personally read more than a thousand forwards which emphasize on the fact that when parents get old, they enter into their second childhood and that they should be treated like they were kids.
But here's a little of my two cents that I felt like telling someone. Unfortunately since there's no one else to listen to me, am turning back to my faithful companion who has always heard everything that I wished to talk about, "my blog".
I, as all other kids, always visualized and regarded my father as my biggest hero on this planet earth. He's like the zoo-zoo that appears on the "Vodafone 3G" ad. He could do anything. He would solve financial issues with ease, take in as much as emotional trauma as possible and yet smile at me and would at times even spend time with me, just being a kid. He has always been my world to me. Now I am all grown up, and my father has grown backwards is what everyone tells me.
There are certain diseases that do more damage to a person than you can think of. Parkinson's Syndrome is one such disease. Although am not going to really elaborate on the symptoms of this disease (Google can tell you more than what I can do), here are a few things the disease can make a person into. You will become this "slow motion action replay character", which means everything you do, would actually resemble being done in slow motion, right from walking around to responding to things. You will also morph into this "Absent minded professor" who keeps forgetting the short term things. You will end up more frequently asking "Where am I".. ? or "I don't remember that".. or "How do you switch on this TV".. You will become this helpless child but the only difference is, unlike the case of a child, you wouldn't see too many people willing to help you.
Am now seeing my father do all this, which apart from the emotional trauma also ends up putting me "in the spot". Since am a very happy bachelor, I don't know how to deal with kids nor have I had the affinity to play around with any kids. When it comes to kids, I always have kept a safe distance from them, not because I hate kids, but because of the fear of my ignorance.. "I don't know how to handle kids".. Now my father is turning into one and am not able to find out how do I handle him. Perhaps I am still stuck with this mindset of him being my "zoo-zoo Vodafone 3G hero" that I can't think of him as anything else. I find it awkward when he is trying desperately to just "button his shirts" or when I find him concentrating hard just to ensure that the "morsel of idli" makes it's way into his mouth and doesn't fall off. If dealing with Parkinson's syndrome was something which is difficult, dealing with elders who are suffering from it is even more difficult.
Sometimes I have burst into laughter, seeing my father do some things. Like for e.g., this other day we were all to be going to the polling booth to cast our votes. Since both my folks are senior citizens and I was their escort, we were allowed inside the booth as soon as we got there. While I was busy signing the register and my mum was trying to get her finger inked, I saw dad going round the Electronic Voting Machine, as if he were doing the "Merry-go-round". I couldn't help bursting out in laughter but didn't do so. Later after we got home, I asked him.. "Dad why were you circling the Voting Machine".. to which he very promptly replied.. "I was trying to ensure there wasn't anyone around trying to sneak around while I cast the votes.. what did you think ? I was having difficulties finding the machine ??".. that was a funny incident.
Sometimes I have also sank into a chair in utter sorrow, with my eyes filled with tears seeing my father's helplessness. This other day his condition worsened so much that he said to me "I don't seem to know where we are".. He would bend down and try to pick up something.. and when I asked him what he was doing he said "Am trying to pick up my shirt that's lying on the floor..."
All I hope is that I gain the patience and the endurement required to ensure that I still end up behaving like my "Father's son" and not anything else. For all those who are wondering what I am speaking about, take my words.. its a lot more difficult and harder fact to handle your "ageing kids" than your "growing toddlers"...