I’ve reached a certain age now where my relationship with my parents is very different. To a large degree I don’t need them as parents anymore – sure there’ll be moments when I need their unconditional love and support, but by and large that nurturing role is redundant in my day to day living. I see them now as I do friends – I want to get to know them better, I want to see the human beings behind ‘Mum and Dad’, and I want to develop those relationships and get along better with them and enjoy whatever time we may have left together. I think this is important, and something I’d encourage most others to do, given there is enough of a positive relationship already present to be build upon.
It has dawned upon me, however, that I already have friends – friends that I actually prefer to my parents, and who I’d much rather spend time with. Is this harsh? Or is this just a reasonable and honest reflection? I’m not sure. But it raises the question – are my parents worth more to me alive or dead? I mean, my Dad does have substantial life / death insurance from a long, successful career, and upon his death – if premature, as I understand the small print – myself, my siblings and my mother would be in receipt of a fairly substantial sum of money… perhaps enough for a deposit on my own house or a small car to get around town. What does my Dad remaining alive have to offer me?
Now, of course, I would never plot my Dad’s demise, and i’ll meet any such accusations with the full force of a metta bhavna meditation… I’m just not criminally inclined to that degree (I’m actually very spiritual). But would it be fair to say that sometimes when we cross a busy road that I try to distract his attention in the hope that he might miscalculate the speed of an incoming bus? I don’t want to say ‘yes’, so let’s leave it at that. But it’s not a concerted effort, and it’s not malicious, and in a lot of respects it would be nice to have him around for a little bit longer, because I love him. But at the same time, we are in difficult economic times, and one must be both prudent and resourceful, and that’s all I’m thinking. So, please, treasure your parents, because they really could be worth quite a lot to you.