There is something in the power of the immediate family. Children know exactly what words to say to bring parents to tears, and a single glance or comment from a parent can break a child’s heart. You have taught me through your stories the power of family, not just to love, but to wound. I didn’t understand the power children have – especially in their teens and twenties – to completely stymie, anger or upset their parents. A casual comment denigrating a choice or belief or an offhand comment about relationships can leave the parent scrambling for composure.
And parents, even the parents of seniors still wield tremendous power over their children. In the same way as young children do, they can make tiny comments that cut to the quick. All the worse is the change in relationship as the aging parent loses functions and mental clarity. There is grief and sorrow in watching a parent’s decline.
I have learned to appreciate family and to navigate carefully to keep my own defenses up and to keep from inadvertently hurting anyone. Your stories of your own families have taught me both appreciation and care are necessary.
Photo Credit: flickr.com CCL – user: yatzz