“Honour your father and mother”. The fact that God included this mitzvah in the Ten Commandments, demonstrates its importance. A child fulfils this mitzvah by caring for his or her parents, especially when they are elderly, weak or sickly.
The Sefer HaChinuch explains that by taking care of one’s parents, one demonstrates gratitude to those who brought you into the world and raised you.
If a child does not live near his parents, he should make every effort to be in contact and visit as often as possible and to ensure that his parents’ needs are taken care of.
The extent to which one takes care of one’s parents is limitless and should always be done in a pleasant manner.
Our Sages fulfilled this mitzvah in the most exemplary manner.
Whenever Rebbi Tarfon’s mother went to sleep, Rebbi Tarfon kneeled so that she could stand on him to get onto her bed. Whenever she descended from her bed, he lay down so that she could step on him on her way down.
One time, Avimi’s father asked him for a cup of water. When Avimi arrived with the water, his father had fallen asleep. Avimi waited at his bedside with the water until his father awoke.