Growing up, I wasn't aware of the pains of my parents. I lived in my own world and couldn't see that most of my parents' actions were gifts of love or, more importantly, cries out for love.
I was given a wake-up call that rattled me to my bones and illuminated their humanity.
For weeks, my mom kept mentioning the idea of getting a dog, which Dad and I mostly brushed aside.
She also complained about having discomfort in her chest & heart. But she seemed perfectly healthy to our doctor.
One day, as I was about to leave the house, I finally asked my mom what kind of dog she wanted and that we could seriously consider getting one.
She suddenly broke down crying. "Do you even know why I want a dog?!" she sobbed.
It all became clear as we rushed to her side. "Maybe a dog would care about me more than you two."
She was right. Dad and I had been selfish, demanding, and short-tempered at home, taking her love for granted.
She had felt so lonely and overlooked with nobody to lean on. She was heartbroken, and it was showing up as physical pain.
My dad and I had a serious talk that day. We agreed to be better together and knew that we'd messed up big time.
We apologized and showered Mom with love.
I was determined never to make this mistake again.
I learned one of the most important lessons in my life that day: parents are human, too.