My dearest daughter,
You must have noticed that I am slowing down a bit. I definitely have noticed the look of exasperation on your face when I take longer to answer the phone.
It is my one sincere request for you that you be patient with me. Because. As the years pile on, I’ll need your patience more than anything else in the world. And every time you feel like losing your cool with me, take a step into my shoes and try to understand the experience that I am having.
I will soon, if I haven’t already, begin on the last leg of my journey. And I know as much as my old age will affect me, it will also, invariably affect you. There will be times when your throat will go hoarse calling out to me and I wouldn’t be able to hear you even if I’m in the adjacent room.
Or when we are talking, I’ll say the same thing again and again though I’ve already made my point clear. It will be annoying for you but try to let it go, try to remember when you were just a baby girl and wanted to listen to the same lullaby every night because it was your favorite.
When it gets hard for me to take a bath or maintain a decent outfit, please don’t get embarrassed because of me or shame me for it. When you were a kid, I had to run after you and plead and trick you into getting a shower. Only for you to dirty yourself playing in the next 30 minutes, and I would happily do it all over again.
Remember your 3 year old version that used to spill mud and food with equal zest on your clothes and try to forgive me for dirtying your linens when I can’t control it.
And when I try to grapple with the latest technology, please don’t give me that look of disdain and exasperation. I know you get tired of teaching me something all over again when there is a new invention. But technology gets updated much faster than my understanding and I can’t really help myself if it is all a mess in my head.
Remember when you were just starting at playschool and I taught you the alphabets everyday till you got them right. Or even basic manners or how to tie your shoelaces, even though you always jumble them up. Just like you needed my support and expertise to handle all these new and strange things, I want your knowledge and support now to try and make sense of this world which is changing at such a rapid pace.
And when my mind starts wandering off during our conversation, when I jump from topic to topic, or when I can’t seem to remember something I said just a minute ago, please don’t get angry or worried. My brain might not be what it used to be, but the most important thing is that my heart still is, and it wants nothing more than being with you.
And when my body gets too weak to walk with the same pace as yours, don’t leave me behind. Just take my hand and walk with me slowly, like we did when you first learned to walk on your own.
I will get old, and it will be scary and irritating for you. When that time comes, I just want you to be patient with me and understand that the only thing I want from you is your love. If I just have you during the end of my days, nothing else would matter.
Because I love you my dear, forever and always.