Is the expression, “the phone works both ways,” valid when it comes to our elderly parents? Is it justified to not call the person who raised you and cared for you because they don’t call you? Or is it just ignorance from some?
I recently attended a party and the conversation came up by one of the attendees (John) about his father. John was talking about his elderly father. His father recently called and during their conversation mentioned that John never calls him. He told his father that the phone worked both ways.
I’ve known John for many years now. I am aware that his father does not live locally and is in his late 70’s. I also know that John was raised by his mother and father. I never heard of any negligence or bad childhood experiences. John’s father worked two jobs all his life to sustain his family. So I believe he must have been a good provider. Therefore, I was shocked to hear those words from John.
I immediately reminded John that his dad was close to his 80’s. I told him to understand that all his dad wants is to hear from his son. John was adamant that his dad should initiate the call. And, not expect John to call first. I told John to think of it in a different way. “Put yourself in his shoes. How would you feel if your kids didn’t call or visit you.” His response was, “I don’t have kids.”
It made me sad. Not that John didn’t have kids, but his reaction to his father’s phone call. There are so many children that don’t have a father figure in their lives. So many children are longing for that fatherly figure to talk to, interact with and follow their steps. It made me sad to know that there are parents that gave their all to support their family and are forgotten as soon as the children become adults. It is very sad.
My dad is almost 80 and lives over 1000 miles away. I do not see him often. In fact, last time I saw my dad was about 3 years ago. But I speak with my dad on the phone at least once a month if not more. I do not mind calling him. I enjoy hearing his stories. I get many gardening tips from him. We talk for almost an hour on average and I make sure to let him know that I love him.
So tell me, am I being too sensitive, ridiculous or old-fashioned? Or am I right to feel that our elderly parents deserve to hear and have frequent visits from us? I understand that not everyone had a good experience with their parents. But, regarding those that did, what’s your take on this subject?
Diary Of A Grieving Mother’s Heart is a compilation of my grieving journals, rants, sadness, and joy. I’ve been through many different scenarios – both good and bad – which have helped me reach the place of peace that I now have. My intention in writing this book is to help other grieving parents reach the place of peace that I have. If I can help at least one parent, then I am happy.