When we hear the words “mother and child,” our association tends to be of a young mother holding a small child. However a mother and her child can obviously be of all ages. One usually associates their thoughts to what’s close to their hearts.
While we are growing up we look at our mother as the queen of the world. All powerful, clever and the best problem solver ever. When we turn into teenagers we suddenly decide that our mothers aren’t as smart as we thought, and as a matter of fact they are quite old fashioned, to put it mildly.
As we continue to grow and enter our marriage stage of life we feel that we want to bring up our family in a different way than we were brought up. We still feel that we are smarter and have much better ideas for a grand future that don’t include our mother’s advice. As the family grows and the load at home becomes greater, physically, emotionally, and more costly, we start to feel some of the weight of the world on our shoulders and find ourselves looking around to see with whom we can share it.
Suddenly our mothers who knew so much when we were young and who became old fashioned as we started growing up, whose style we didn’t want to follow, takes on a new appearance. Our mother now seems clever again and we find ourselves asking her questions like we did when we were little. Our questions and worries as grown women are a bit different from that of a fight over a jumping jacks game or about not liking the class trip that was planned for that particular year.
Thus we once again enter into the next phase of life as we become older and find great comfort in our mothers once again. Her advice, her wisdom, or just calling her for help with the grandchildren, and picking up some extra chicken for Shabbat or anything else you might be missing while she’s at the store shopping for herself, becomes natural.
The wheel of life keeps turning and we keep getting older, but so does our mom. And at a certain point our all-powerful, all-encompassing, all-doing mom needs us. It’s the same mother-and-child relationship but with the roles slightly reversed. From being on the end of constantly receiving from our mother, we find ourselves caring for her. And now each time we are in the store we are picking up something for her. And whenever my mom calls me on the phone she is asking me a question or seeking out my help or advice to help her solve some problem.
No matter what our age is we always expect our parents to be all-powerful and for them to help us. And at first when we find ourselves taking care of our mother and father, we are not sure why the roles are reversed. However, the more we take care of them the more we realize that we are still on the receiving end – we are receiving the biggest gift in the world and that is giving back some of the goodness that was given to us all those years from our parents, with so much unconditional love and acceptance.
These challenging and interesting times that we are experiencing now, is showing us sides of ourselves and decisions that we never thought we’d have to make, and certainly not at this point in life. This virus changed the course of our lives in many ways which we didn’t expect or plan in advance.
In my daily life, I am usually very busy taking care of my children and grandchildren and feel satisfied and happy. Since this last episode of the Covid-19, I found myself far away from my children and grandchildren because of the social distance that was set upon the world. But to my great joy. the world is run by Hashem and as He saw fit; the world keeps on turning and G-d is the one setting the path.
Hashem sent my beloved mother right into my arms and made sure that it would now be my turn to start returning all the help I’ve been getting all these years since I was born. My mother has been staying with me for about a month and I can’t express enough what a gift it has been for me. My older sister has the privilege of caring for our mother all year long since she lives in her home. And I never really understood or appreciated what it is that my sister does all the time.
The roles are truly reversed from what I knew so many years ago. And yet I can’t thank Hashem enough for granting me this time period, even if it’s just for a short time, to really care for my mother full time.
May we see our blessings in our lifetime and not when it’s too late. May we constantly ask the Almighty to bless us with the strength to keep strong on his path whichever it may be, and may we merit helping our parents out in good health in whatever way they need, till 120. Amen.