People say they are more scared of getting old than dying. And, I guess that’s true.
Age doesn’t only bring gray hair or wrinkles, it brings pain, illness and sometimes, severe blows to one’s self-respect and pride. But is there a way that ageing could be less painful? Less scary? I thought it couldn’t be until my husband received this email from his mother.
Thanks for sending the beautiful flowers! They are gorgeous!
Your father and I would have loved if you could have been with us to celebrate my birthday. But, we do understand how important and critical is this meeting for you. Hope, you will soon return and we can have a real celebration.
You know how bad I am with a face-to-face conversation that involves emotions. I would have refrained myself from writing this letter but your father pushed me to. I think he wanted to put my agony to rest. So, I took refuge in writing this email to you.
I didn’t realize till yesterday that your father and I were getting old. We were so busy celebrating the life that it never hit us that ageing is a natural process and neither of us can deny it.
We know you love us a lot and seeing your parents getting old isn’t going to be easy for you. But believe me, it is much harder for us.
I have a few requests to make so that we can see ageing as an adventure and not a burden:
Request #1: Be patient
The day you see we are getting old, I request you to be patient, but most of all, try to understand what we are going through. If we repeat the same thing again and again, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago”. Just listen. If you can’t the patience, remember the times when we used to read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep.
Request #2: Don’t lecture us
When we are not able to take a bath, don’t lecture us. Just remember the times when we had to run after you to get you to take the shower when you were a little boy. We never lectured you, we made bathing fun for you.
Request #3: Give us time to learn
When you see how ignorant we are when it comes to new technology, give us the time to learn and don’t look at us in a disgusting way. We patiently taught you to do many things like walking, eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with life’s issues every day.
Request #4: Give us time to remember
If we lose track of what we’re talking about, give us the time to remember. And if we can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing for us is to be with you.
Request #5: Give us your hand
And, when our old body doesn’t let us move as quickly as before, give us your hand in the same way we offered ours to you when you first walked. Please don’t be embarrassed by us because we were never embarrassed by you (even when you rolled on the floor in the restaurants)
Son, when those days come don’t feel sad. Just be with us and understand us; while we get to the end of our life with love. Don’t let ageing put us down. It’ll be too hard for us to get up.
See you next weekend!
I am not sure about you, but I was full of respect, affection, and care for my mother-in-law when my husband shared this email with me with teary eyes. She is a rational person, who understands where is she heading. She acknowledges her fears and is brave enough to share it with people so that she could make her tough days easier.
I have already saved a copy to share it with my daughter when I feel its time!
P.S. Thanks to my mother-in-law for letting me share her personal letter on the portal.
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