My parents, while still active (in their 50s), are getting older and some days I feel acutely aware that time is finite. How can I best spend time with my parents and show them that I care about them and that I am grateful for all they have done for me? This can include gifts they might appreciate, but I'm mostly asking about things I can
to maximize the quality of the time and the relationship I have with my parents.
I understand that taking care of myself and my siblings, and and trying my best at what I do is a way to show that all my parents' hard work paid off, but is there anything else that you wish you did or that you do now that you think makes your relationship with your parents more fruitful?
I'm far from home (basically studying all the time in med school) and don't get to see my parents all that often, but I do call home about 3-5 times a week just to talk about mundane things or to ask about how best to cook something. I don't have an income, so I don't have the means to pay for anything that expensive. I know once I do have an income, I'd love to be able to plan a vacation for them to somewhere that they've never had the opportunity to visit, but this is too far away for me to think about.
Some things I have thought about are cooking meals for my parents when I am back home (although the problem with that is that my mother can be quite territorial of her kitchen), or working on a painting and giving it to my parents (which I already do from time to time). Is there anything else I could do?
Also: I've never understood the "my mom is my best friend" sort of dynamic. My family doesn't say "I love you"
and that sort of thing
... so saying "I love you" more often or letting them know about overly personal details of my life isn't going to work here. That said, some of my best memories of my parents were when I went on a trip with my dad and we were just able to talk, or when I drove halfway across the country with my mom.
Finally, my father grew up without his father, and my mother grew up without both of her parents. They are both immigrants. ... so I don't know what they're really expecting, if anything, out of parent-adult child relationship because I've never seen them model it for me with their own parents. I do know that sacrifice is a running theme in my family, but beyond that, I don't know much.