Do not blame the parents

I’ve never had the pleasure for meeting my paternal grandparents. My grandfather passed away just before my parents got married, and my grandmother met with an unfortunate accident when my mother was three months pregnant with my sister. That was 8 years before I was born. My dad has always spoken a great deal about them though, and everytime he does, I can see the glint of a deeply embedded love, that we all keep even when someone passes on to the next world.

He used to talk about how my grandparents, who had 10 children in total, made the best out of life and their love for each other, eventhough they were relatively poor. How his mother, took care of all her grandchildren, regardless of whether they were the daughter’s children, or the son’s children, and laboured over the stove, cooking for her huge family. He used to say that my grandparents were always loving and happy, despite being poverty stricken. And he had the great advantage of being the child of such humble, but great people in their own way.

My uncles and aunties have always been a subject of mystery to me. Throughout the years, I have hardly or never met all of them. My father only keeps in touch with one sister, who surprisingly is married to my mom’s uncle. That is how my parents met. My father does not talk much about the rest of his siblings.

Despite that though, last year, he received a call during after Chinese New Year, informing him that one of his brothers had died on the streets. He was the fourth brother. I distinctly remembered this uncle, as there was one day about 5 years back, my father brought him home to our house. He had been living in a shack with no running water or electricity somewhere in selangor. My father went to search for him, brought him home and gave him a job at his site in Perak.

After 2 days, my uncle ran off again, after failing to do his job. He was supposed to be guarding my father’s machineries, but he ended up drunk and slopping outside the nearest 7-11 every night. My father heard news about him 3 years later, he was now living on the streets, like a madman, begging for money, so he could satisfy his drunken stupor.

Not too long after that, the news of his death reached us. It was sad, sad because he had to die alone, his children and wife had long ago turned against him, for he was violent and drunk all the time. I often wondered how he could have turned out like that. Surely my grandparents are not to blame, they did all they could for their children.

I believe, we all choose the paths in our lives. After the age of 21, our parents can no longer be responsible for the actions and directions that we take. It must be hard being a parent, and watching your child go in the path of wrong. I guess it’s lucky my grandparents are no longer here to see what has become of their child.

But I really doubt it is their fault my uncle turned out so. Inevitably, every parent wants their children to choose the right path, and having done their part in instilling values and bringing them up the proper way, there is nothing more a parent can do.


3 Responses to “Do not blame the parents”

  1. Sorry to hear about your Unc. Yes I guess you are right, we can’t blame our parents all the time and yes parents are responsible for moulding and shaping a child’s thoughts until a certain age in which after that person is responsible for him/ herself.

  2. Dad used to tell me from a very early age that even if I became a renowned scholar but am a loud-mouth scoundrel by character, I’ve accomplished nothing for him to be proud of.

    And speaking of parental upbringing, have you considered ‘famous orphans’?

    Read –

  3. That’s really an astounding list of orphans Shar. Steve Jobs, Bill Clinton… and MMonroe too?? Malcom X’s impressive, but his mugshot looks a lot like Denzel or maybe the other way around.

    “We know our friends by their defects rather than by their merits.”- Somerset Maugham.

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