Friday, April 18, 2008

The Cause Of Grey Hair

This email has been going around. I think my Mom sent it to me. It is very true and I thought I would share it.

Do you worry?

Is there a magic cut-off period when offspring become accountable for their own Actions? Is there a wonderful moment when parents can become detached spectators in the lives of their children and shrug, 'It'sTheir life,' and feel nothing?

When I was in my twenties, I stood in a hospital corridor waiting for doctors to put a few stitches in my son's head. I asked, 'When do you stop worrying?' The nurse said, 'When they get out of the accident stage.' My Dad just smiled faintly and said nothing.

When I was in my thirties, I sat on a little chair in a classroom and heard how one of my children talked incessantly and disrupted the class. I was certain that he was headed for a career making license plates. As if to read my mind, the teacher said, 'Don't worry, they all go through this stage and then you can sit back, relax and enjoy them.' My dad just smiled faintly and said nothing.

When I was in my forties, I spent a lifetime waiting for the phone to ring... the cars to come home... the front door to open. A friend said,'They're trying to find themselves. Don't worry, in a few years, you can stop worrying. They'll be adults.' My dad just smiled faintly and said nothing.

By the time I was 50, I was sick & tired of being vulnerable. I was still worrying over my children, but there was a new wrinkle. There was nothing I could do about it. My Dad just smiled faintly and said nothing.

I continued to anguish over their lives, be tormented by their frustrations and absorbed in their disappointments. My friends said that when my kids were married, I could stop worrying and lead my own life. I wanted to believe that, but I was haunted by my Dad's warm smile and his occasional, 'You look pale. Are you all right? Call me the minute you get home. Are you upset about something?'

Can it be that parents are sentenced to a lifetime of worry? Is concern for one another handed down like a torch to blaze the trail of human frailties and the fears of the unknown? Is concern a curse or is it a virtue that elevates us to the highest form of life?

One of my children became quite irritable recently, saying to me, 'Where were you? I've been calling for 3 days, and no one answered I was worried.' I smiled a warm smile. The torch has been passed.


Rebecca said...


Shop girl said...

There are some things you stop worrying about, but it is a lifetime keeping them in the for front of everything. All my children are grown, but I will always be Mom. Each year brings something different. I don't stay up nights waiting for them to come home on time, but I am often the one they talk to about feelings, relationships, frustrations. I don't always have a answer, but I am a good listener.
If I find another little hat box, I will send it to you!
Big Hugs, Mary

Becca said...

Thank you for stopping and commenting. As well, thank you for recommending the book. No, I have not seen the Larry King interviews. I see that you are on a no television thing. We haven't had one for about three years. Lovely! I see more news than I want online.

Beautiful pictures!