Remember, your parents are growing old too

By: Bailey Hendricks, Senior Editor

This summer I turned 20. Ever since I was young, birthdays have been very emotional for me. They have always served as a reminder of what I’ve accomplished in life thus far, what I still have left to accomplish, and how the time we have on Earth is so limited.

Sometimes during my birthdays my dad would ask me if I felt different now that I was one year older. I would always laugh, thinking that’s a silly question. But turning 20, was the first time in my life I ever felt like there may be some validity to my dad’s question after all.

Turning 20 meant a whole phase of my life had officially ended and there was nothing I could do about it. The teenage chapter of my biography had officially already been written. The years people had told me that were supposed to be “the best years of my life” were now officially over.

“Where do I go from here?,” I thought. When I turned 20 I thought of all the things I didn’t do in my teenage years. I was never really a rebellious kid, so I had some guilt and regret that I wasn’t more angsty, as arbitrary as that sounds.

Turning 20 was the first time I ever felt like the expiration date on my life was actually real. I always knew people died, of course, but when I turned 20 that expiration date felt one year closer to reality.

People who are older than me may think I’m being irrational, and they’re probably right. But for me, turning 20 was a wake up call that I couldn’t just keep sitting around waiting for my life to start. That I had to start living it. That’s one of the reasons I decided to start dating again.

As morbid as it may sound, this reminder that my life isn’t infinite was also a reminder that my loved ones lives aren’t infinite either.

As I’m getting older and I see more gray hairs on my parents’ heads, hear more complaints about their hurting backs and joints, it serves as a reminder to take no relationship for granted as life is constantly ever-changing.

It served as a reminder that I need to call my dad and tell him that I love him more. And that I need to be patient with my mom and finally let her teach me how to crochet. If not now, when?

As a person who hates change, I sometimes wish the complexities of life wouldn’t be so hard to figure out. But as life evolves with time, just remember to be filled with love and gratitude in every relationship you form along the way. Don’t forget to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you. And listen to your parents when they tell you “it’ll go by in a blink.”

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