As many of my friends in their “golden time” share the pain of the passing of their parents, it brought to mind when my grandfather passed away the how the wisdom of my grandmother became engrained in my soul.
1. Parents are first our ‘air’, as babies we are completely dependant on them from minute-to-minute for food, shelter, love and safety.
2. Parents become our ‘water’ in our youth as our needs are present but not as immediate. Their practical wisdom and emotional sustenance helps us to meander through our youth and into early adulthood.
3. Parents are our "fire" when we reach the stage of adolescence. The dawn of adult life forces a radical change in our relationship with them. Some never make it through the fire, others come through with life scars, for others the relationship is reborn.
4. For those who emerge out of the fire, parents become the ‘earth'. Our more reliable friends in our middle age. As time wears on they increasingly depend on us for as much physical and emotional support as they have given.
5. When our parents pass on they become our 'sky' -- eternally present, untouchable. Our ‘heaven’, they are in every sunrise and every sunset. Enrich us with light and rain. The heaven that sits above us, a constant reminder of our destination, where (if we made it through the fire) our children will find us one day, an ever present canopy of truth and grace.
My life tilts between stages 4 and 5 as my parents age… it is the cycle… painful as it is inevitable, it is thus.
"Thou art thy mother's glass and she in thee
Calls back the lovely April of her prime;
So thou through windows of thine age shalt see,
Despite of wrinkles, this thy golden time.
But if thou live, remembered not to be,
Die single and thine image dies with thee".