In my mind's eye, my parents are ever-strong. Ever-capable. Ever-youthful.
They are the Protectors. The Surmounters of the Insurmountable. My Heroes.
But there comes a point when you can no longer ignore the white hair that has overtaken the brown. The ears that no longer grasp a statement on the first try. The skin that no longer lies flat but wrinkles. The strength that wanes a bit earlier than it used to.
At this very moment, as I sit in in a hospital waiting room (following Mom's 2nd hip replacement of the year), I am reminded that my Wonder Woman and my Superman are aging. Have aged. And there is no turning back now. They have entered into the (some call it "golden"?) phase of their lives--and though it has happened before my very eyes, it feels as if it's happened all at once. All of a sudden I look at these two people and am overjoyed by the fact that they are still in my midst--but am equally pained that they gave up their youth--for me.
There is a song by Julio Iglesias (yes, I just said Julio Iglesias) that says, "Lo mejor de tu vida, me lo he llevado yo."
Translation: The best of your life, I've taken.
How can I not feel the deepest gratitude when I look at two magnificent individuals and know that yes, while their aging would have happened despite me, it in fact happened FOR me. Not BECAUSE of me (I was maybe as good a kid as a parent could've wanted). But FOR me. They lived the lives they lived--toiled away their youth--FOR me. And for my siblings.
There are two little "retoños" right now. Two grandsons. And let's see what else the years bring forth. But for now, I enjoy seeing yet another end product of this love and life's sacrifice--made possible by God--and two people named Carmen and Bruno.
"Thank You'' seems but a trifle to offer. But, Mom and Dad, Thank You.
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