18 Sep

My Two Heroes


I recently wrote a letter about my two heroes. Really, it was about the realisation that we often take our parents for granted, and sometimes even they take each other for granted.

Some people thought that it was a letter of recognition, but for me, it was my way of expressing my emotions.

Many of us live a life so absorbed with ourselves that sometimes we are unable to express our deep feelings about our own parents.

Here was my father, lying in a hospital bed at the age of 88, waiting for an operation that would probably be perceived as a high risk. And yet, I didn’t manage to tell him how I really felt about him, what he has done for me as a man and the gift that he has shared with me along his journey of life.

As I saw my father go through his operation and recover through a few days of intensive care, I realised that sometimes the person in the hospital bed isn’t always the true hero. Sometimes we forget the people who battle in the dark, invisible, never wondering about whether they are in pain, tired or drained.

And in this respect, it was mum.

We often grant so much attention to the person going through the operation that we forget about the frail mother that had to go to sleep wondering whether it was the last time that she would have her husband around her. Wondering whether she had to begin planning a life on her own since all her children have moved out.

We forget about the physical and mental drain they may feel even though they aren’t the one who had the operation.

I think that the letter has allowed me to express my feelings to my parents. Some people are very good at doing this, all day long. But I wasn’t brought up that way. I had to find my own way to express it.

The key is not how we express it, it’s to express it while we are both alive – them and us. This is probably the biggest key to avoiding some of the regrets that we, the living, carry in our hearts for the rest of our life.


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