When I was a kid, my paternal grandma died. When she was dying, almost all members in the family gathered. My grandma wanted me to be by her side as she was dying. I was her first grandchild. So in my father’s side, I was kinda everyone’s favorite, the kid everyone looked forward to (before my sister and cousins were born, of course 🙈), while in my mother’s side, I didn’t feel loved as much. Though my father’s family was not rich (they didn’t even have a land or a house when Dad married Mom), they showered me with love. But when my grandma was dying, I was too scared to stay by her side. Seeing someone dying was simply scary for a kid like me. So instead of staying near her, I escaped to stay in another room, my aunt’s bedroom. I fell asleep. When I woke up, she was already gone. Everyone was crying. I don’t remember feeling sad at that time. One born, one dead, so what? Life goes on. I cried, nevertheless, just because everyone was crying, and I thought that’s what I was supposed to do too. Little did I know that I would not be able to be with her again. Like many other cliches, as I grew up, I realized that I missed her. She’s the one who treated me like princess and stood up for me even when my parents ‘scolded’ me (sometimes parents don’t want to spoil their kids for their own good, no?). Time passed, regret came, I couldn’t return to the time she was dying. I learned my lesson.
I don’t want to make my parents or my loved ones feel rejected or unloved like that. I don’t want to have the same regret. I don’t want to go through that again. So I make sure to keep in touch, even if it’s just saying hi, asking about things that I have already known, asking them to be healthy and happy, and such. Well, I know that some people cannot really express their feelings well. Some people will pretend to be upset and even say, “you call too often”. But I believe that they’re actually happy to know that their loved ones worry about them and that their health and happiness still matter to them.
Now I am talking about my parents. They are not so tech-savvy. They do not even know how internet works. We the kids try to teach them but they give up saying it’s too complicated and way too much work. Haha So all they can do with their phone is making and receiving a call. But even so, they don’t always carry the phone with them 🙈 So sometimes, when I call them, they are not home, or only one of them is available. My Dad, especially, really loves going to the farm. So when I am calling, he is often unavailable to talk to me. But it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t want to talk to me. It’s my Dad who often asks Mom if I have made a call or not. It’s my Dad who often asked about what happened with the fire, shooting, earthquake, etc. that happened in the US. He’s often worried. That’s why I always make time to call them-albeit not so often but- regularly, just to let them know that, no matter how far away I am, I still remember and love them. I’m healthy and happy, they don’t have to worry. Well, particularly because they’re “digital illiterate” and do not have such social media so they can’t know how I am doing unless I call them.
Some people might not make a call like I do. Maybe they’re not used to that. But at least their parents are not that illiterate about internet and other technology. Sometimes they have WhatsApp family group where, albeit not chatting a lot, they still share some pics and jokes, even though most of the times they are just read, not replied or responded. Some parents follow their kids on their social media just so they know how they are doing because, well, some kids nowadays feel too awkward to just talk to their parents. Unfortunately, some kids only see it as their parents’ way of being nosy.
Well, I am not a parent yet. And I am not sure if I will be a parent someday. But here is what I believe: I think parents only want to know that their kids are alright. They want to know that they still matter to their kids. Because just like how we often wish our parents to understand and love us the way we want them to do, they also wish their kids to understand and love them the way they want to be loved and understood.
Well, I know some parents are toxic. Some can’t express their love well enough to make their kids feel loved. But, if you somehow still love them, I think it’s best to keep in touch and say hi, well, at least let them know how you are doing (unless you believe your parents are psycho and will kill you if they know where you are or if you are doing well. For this, of course it’s best not to keep in touch 🙈 ).
So, yeah, sometimes it upsets me to see one being so active on social media, hanging with their “friends”, but their parents have no idea how they are doing and thus worried about them. I mean, we grow older each day, but so do our parents. We can die anytime, and so can they. Hence, while we still have time, why not letting know that we love them? Should we really wait until one of us dies and then regrets it?