In your mind’s eye you imagine them all grown up and smile to yourself. For just a moment, imagine them grown up … and distancing themselves from you. Imagine the searing pain you would feel at not hearing from them, at being shut out of their lives. How can it be? You gave them life and loved them more than anything. No, it will never be, you reason. It is unthinkable.
Think again. As our writer above says, the Yomim Noraim are almost upon us. As your parents suffer and you willfully choose to ignore their pain, how will you be judged by your Father in Heaven – the One who partnered in your birth with your parents and Who regards your obligation to respect your parents as non-negotiable and on par with reverence for Hashem? Bear in mind that our Creator keeps a meticulous cheshbon in His heavenly ledger … what goes around, comes around.
But there is good news: It is not too late to make amends. And the rewards are tremendous. Aside from the nachas and pleasure you and your grandchildren will reap in your and their lifetime, there is the promised reward in the hereafter. You might also want to consider the golden opportunity of gaining the benefit of a parent’s blessing, which is like none other. No person on earth can bentch you like your parent can, for no other bracha emanates from such depth of heart and soul and hence can never equal the potency of a parent’s bracha. Plus, by virtue of accepting such a blessing, you earn the mitzvah of honoring your mother and father.
Mention must be made of the reality that finds many adult married children conflicted on the issue of honoring parents. For instance, problems and questions in this regard may arise as a result of contentious in-law relationships. To prevent the escalation of strain and stress in a marriage and transgression of the mitzvah of Kibbud Av V’Eim, every couple should have a spiritual guide (rav or rebbetzin) to call on, one whose impartiality and erudition they can rely upon to lead them on the right path.
In the merit of reconciling our differences and making peace with our brother/sister/parent, may we be zoche to realize Shalom al Yisrael and the Geulah Sheleima in our day.