My mother has said it several times; "Getting old sucks." I've never had much of an opinion on that until I began to notice age in my parents. They say the memory begins to deteriorate at the age of 40. Well both my folks are in their 50s.
My dad is a highly intelligent man; not without his flaws, a higher than average IQ and an amazingly funny person. He used to be extremely physically fit, which earned him a lot of attention from the ladies, including my mum. I remember he used to lift me into the air and spin me around without any effort, would chase me around playing "The Claw" (basically tag with a lot of growling and snarling) and perform martial arts moves without even thinking about them. Now, he's having trouble lifting certain things. He's struggling to find words, repeating himself, forgetting events he's enthusiastic about. He can still just about lift me for piggy backs and hugs, bearing in mind I'm a fairly light girl, but always ends up hurting his back or shoulders. He's getting highly stressed after so many years of work, delving slightly into alcohol and drowning his sorrows in video games. It's just hard to believe that one day I'll be physically stronger than the man I thought could hold up the world.
My mum is a quiet, thoughtful woman. She worries a lot, can be a little too forthright, but is such a compassionate and sweet person that I can never stay mad at her. She always has the best intentions, and is extremely clever and talented. But it seems she might be developing Arthritis. That would horrible, since she's incredibly creative. Her biggest hobby recently has been designing and making teddy bears; she made a wizard bear which went for over £150 at an auction and was placed in a teddy museum in California. Her bears are detailed, beautiful and always pre-hugged. I've never seen her happier than when she's in the work shop dad had built for her at the back of the garden, listening to music and sewing luxurious fake furs together. But if she gets Arthritis, if she loses her ability to sew, that happiness stops. She's getting confused, not understanding what my teachers are telling her, forgetting important things I tell her that I can actually see her trying to commit to memory. Her eye sight has never been great, but it's getting progressively worse, which doesn't help with her creativity either.
Everyone that grows up with their parents goes through this; watching those important to them slowly drifting away from who they once were. My parents are incredible, and I know it frustrates them when they notice signs that they are getting old, as well as taking note of how old I'm getting. When I reach 18 next year, it'll really hit them.
So I've come to the realisation so many other adults get at various ages; Stuart and Caroline have been a Father and Mother to me like no other. They've shaped and taught me, loved and raised me. I am who I am because of them, and at times when I hate myself or the rest of the world, they're sitting downstairs with sympathetic ears and strong shoulders. When the time comes, I'll take care of them the best I can as they have done for me.
One way or another, I'll repay these two amazing people for all they've done for me.