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A Last Letter from Dear Old Dad
By Richard Lee Orey
Last edited: Saturday, November 24, 2012
Posted: Sunday, June 24, 2012

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An aged parent pleads for understanding and shares his concerns about personal care in his final days.


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                                                                                    (Authored and Narrated by  Richard Lee Orey) 


                               A Last Letter from Dear Old Dad


                              You know, I looked in the mirror the other day and saw that I'm old. I mean really old. 
                              As you know, I'm in my 80th year.  Yet I don't feel really old, even as I know that 
                              there are many things that I can't do as well anymore and some things that I can't 
                              do at all anymore.  
                               It's a reality everything living must die.   I know it's true , and I know that my dying is 
                               not too far away.   As I grow even older and perhaps more feeble, I hope you 
                               understand and have patience with me. When I break a dish or soil my placemat at 
                               the dinner table,  I hope you don't yell at me.  Every year in my old age, I get more 
                               sensitive. Please understand and be patient with me even as I tried to be patient 
                               with you when you were very young and had similar mishaps. 
                               When I don't hear what you're saying because my hearing is getting worse, I hope 
                               you don't shout at me and make a belittling remark.  Please be patient and simply 
                               repeat what you said. 
                               Oh, and as I get older, I'm also getting weaker.  If I fall down, please be patient as 
                               you help me to get up.  Have in mind that when you were little and were just 
                               learning to walk, I held your hand and patiently helped you time after time as you 
                               fell. I picked you up and kissed your bruised knee or laughed with you and then 
                               held your hand as together we tried again.   As you grew a little older, the 
                               times were many that  I held onto the back of your new bicycle to steady you as 
                               you struggled to learn how to peddle and how to keep your balance and ride 
                               away like other children.  Remember, too, the many, many times of repetition I 
                               took with you for you to learn how to play catch and to bat a ball?
                               Please bear with me if I keep telling you something that I just told you a short time 
                               before.   I don't meant to keep repeating myself like a broken record. But, with 
                               my older age, my  memory often fails me. So, please don't make fun of me 
                               and get sick of listening to me. Think back to the time when you were very little and 
                               you wanted something very badly or you wanted to get my attention so you 
                               could say something. You just kept asking and asking until you got my attention 
                               and got what you wanted.   I didn't leave you then.  My ear was always yours. 
                               So please be patient with me if I repeat myself, just the way you used to do.
                               I want you to understand that old people get sick much more easily than when they 
                               were young.  And we get cold easily, too.   So please bear with me if I feel a draft that 
                                you don't feel and know that I must be uncomfortable or I wouldn't say anything.
                                I do hope that you can be patient with me if I nag at you or act cranky. It's all a part 
                               of getting older, something like an old car making more noise than when 

                                                    it was new.   And I do hope that you have time to sit and talk with me, even 
                                if we talk about things we've talked about many times before.   Keep in mind that 
                               I'm often alone and feeling very lonesome.  And even if you're not really 
                                interested in my stories that I've shared with you dozens of times before, bear 
                                with me. The time when I'm not here to bore you anymore is not far off.
                                Perhaps you'll remember, too, all the times when you were very small that I patiently 
                                listened to your many stories about your friends or small events in your life that 
                                seemed very important to you even as I recognized silently how common and 
                                ordinary they really were.
                                 I'm sorry if I spill things or make a mess. I truly don't mean to. But it's getting harder 
                                 and harder for me to function with the care and skill of when I was younger.   I'm 
                                 sure you remember all the times over years back when you spilled your glass 
                                 of milk at the dinner table.   So know that it's true when they say, "What goes 
                                 around, comes around."
                                 If the time comes when I become very ill and bedridden, please find the patience to 
                                 take care of me.  It's a real fear for me to face those times with the thought that 
                                 I'll be helpless and unable to care for myself. This is especially true as I approach 
                                those last few days of my life. 
                                                     And when the moment of my death does come, I hope you are with me to hold my 
                                hand and give me the strength to face death and to leave you behind.   But I 
                                want you to know that when I meet God face-to-face, my first words to Him 
                               will be to thank Him for the extraordinary gift of my life and for my life with you 
                                and to ask that He bless you and watch over you. 
                                Thank you so much for your loving care in my last days. Keep this thought in your 
                                heart:   When you, too, grow old some day and die, I will be waiting In Heaven 
                               to greet you.  I love you so much more than I can ever put into mere words.  




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Reviewed by Maria Cristina Falcon (Reader) 9/5/2012
Richard, I read this before somewhere but the posting did not bear your name. So I was delightfully surprised that it was written by my favorite author. This letter is a touching reminder of the fears that old people are going through and an important reminder for each and everyone of things to come. And are we not all heading that way.
Reviewed by Jeanette Cooper 6/25/2012
Richard,this is beautifully stated. We, the aging elders, are aware of getting older, slowing down, finding ourselves unable to do the same chores we once did that were easy to do a while back, but the younger generation still see us as the SAME OLD MOM OR DAD, and never consider that we indeed ar like an old car whose engine has begun to wear beyond repair.

I'm going to send your link to all my e-mail buddies, and I hope it might get into the hands of some of the younger generation who will gain knowledge from it and whose parents will benefit from it.

Well done!

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