Measuring Parental Happiness

An old woman wearing a headscarf sits on a plastic chair near the door of a Malang souvenir shop. He was waiting for his daughter who was still shopping. I’m approaching. I invite small talk. The grandmother, who is about 70 years old, has three children. All are married. 16 grandchildren. 4 of them are serving in the military. Two more members of the police. Her late husband was indeed a retired soldier.

Now all of his children live outside Malang. They usually get together on Eid. He lives alone in his house in the Ranugrati area of Malang City.

“I was actually asked to stay at the children’s home. But I didn’t feel at home. Not because of anything. The problem was I couldn’t do anything. Cooking wasn’t allowed. Washing my own clothes wasn’t allowed. Cleaning the house wasn’t allowed. Lha, I was told to rest and have fun. Even though I’m not used to being silent. I used to bother doing random things, why can’t I be with children, he he he,” the story was plain.

“Children have good intentions, I can’t be tired when I’m old like this. But okay, look at it for a long time, it’s boring. That’s why I don’t choose to go home. Stay at home alone. So I can do what I can do, ” he explained.

Seeing his children live successfully and get along in harmony, Mbah Siji felt very happy. Moreover, they really care about his condition.

What happened to Mbah Siji might be dreamed of by many parents in their old age. Seeing children succeed and get along. Want to compete to care for and please their parents. Not like what some parents experience in their old age. Some spend the rest of their lives in nursing homes. Some live in limbo. Their kids don’t care. Living alone in a narrow house with apprehensive conditions.

This was experienced by Rubisah, 84 years old in Medan, North Sumatra. Despite having six biological children, none of them cared for the grandmother. As a result, Rubisah had to live in limbo and live in a two by three meter shack. He also admitted that he did not know where his six children were. For decades he felt abandoned. Masha Allah.

The services of parents, especially mothers are priceless. No matter how hard we try to repay it, it won’t be worth it. Narrated from Abi Burdah, he saw a resident of Yemen who was circumambulating around the Kaaba while carrying his mother on his back while humming, “Indeed, I am a very obedient mother’s mount. If the other mounts run, then I will not run.” The person (Yemen) then asked: “O Ibn Umar, have I returned the favor to him?” Ibn Umar replied, “No, even though (compared to) one breath during childbirth.” (Book of Adabul Mufrad).

Even so, as children, we must try to please our parents, especially mothers. No, until there is no sense of care. Moreover, blatantly abandoned them.

Responding to parents must be patient and wise. Parents do have their own happiness. Often what children want to do to please them, they are reluctant. They are even shy about their children and in-laws. Don’t want to bother his son. And, they don’t want to hang around enjoying old age. They still want to do activities that make their hearts happy. When parents choose to live independently, children cannot force the desire to care for them or ask them to stay at the children’s home. Let them live independently with their happiness, but of course they must always be monitored and cared for. His health, his needs and his happiness. (*)

By: Fahrurozi Tamimi

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