When I am Old

“Don’t be angry with children, you’ve come along the same way. Don’t laugh at old people; you’d go to the same way.” – Japanese proverb shared by Nyanko from Rain Cats And Dogs.

A tribute to all mothers and fathers in the world. The write up, ‘When I am Old,” below was translated by me directly from a Chinese poster I saw, pinned up, on one of the doors at my sister’s house. A gentle reminder that we were once ‘old’ when we were young. Does this make sense to you?

When I am Old

When I am old and not my original self,
Please be understanding and be patient with me.

When I spill the soup on my own clothes,
And forget how to tie my shoelaces,
Please think about how I had taught you, step by step, to tie your shoelaces.

When you are tired of the words, which I am repeating,
Please listen patiently and don’t interrupt me.
When you were young, I had to repeat the same story again and again until you fell asleep.

When I need you to shower me,
Please don’t blame me.
Do you remember how I had to coax you to take your shower?

When I am helpless with new technology and things,
Please don’t make fun of me.
Think about how I patiently answered every ‘Why’ you had.

When both my legs are too tired to walk,
Please stretch out your strong hand to support me.
Just as I stretched out my hand to you, when you were learning to walk.

When the topic of our conversation slip my mind,
Please give me a little time to recall.
Actually, whatever the topic of our conversation is of no importance.
I will be contented, as long as you are listening to me by my side.

When my time has come, please don’t be sad.
Understand me, support me,
Just as how I treated you, when you were starting to learn about living.

I had guided you on your life journey back then,
Now please stays with me until my journey ends.
Shower me with your love and patience, I will smile with gratitude;
The smile of unconditional love for you.

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38 thoughts on “When I am Old

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Shu Fen, perhaps, you have the same poster too. Someone gave that poster to my sister and she has it pinned on one of the doors in her house. 🙂

  1. Nyanko

    I love it,too.
    We Japanese have a proverb like this…
    ” Don’t be angry with children, you’ve come along the same way. Don’t laugh at old people, you’d go to the same way.”
    We forget about that, we don’t recognize when it comes to us.

    Nyankos last blog post..MATSURI

  2. Symphony of Love Post author

    @ PJ, you are most welcome. The first thought I have when I saw the poster in my sister’s house, was to translate it and post it here for all of you and I to read and to remind ourselves constantly.

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Karen, thank you for sharing something about you and your dad. It reminds me of my dad in his last year. He was down with fourth stage cancer and kidney failure, which required him to undergo dialysis. He lost hope at some point of time and it was painful to see him going through the sufferings. And there were times when I lost my patience when I saw him giving up on his fight.

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Penny, that proverb is indeed something; so simple and yet so enlightening. If we understand and practice it, relationship between parents and children will surely improve.

  3. Tammy-Cricket

    Hey there,

    This is just beautiful! I remember caring for my grandmother when she was so helpless. I look back with reflection and I am so happy that I did have the patience and love to give her.

    She never grew up. She was a lively child even when faced with death. We had many conversations throughout her life and she spoke of things in this poem many times. How we begin as a child and end as a child.

    Thank you for sharing.

  4. Symphony of Love Post author

    @ Tammy, indeed, we all walk through the journey of life to end at where we first began. Thank you for sharing the memories of you and your grandmother with us. From your writings, I have already come to know what a great lady she was.

  5. Marie

    Very touching…love it. I will always remember this one and put in my heart. I miss my parents badly.

  6. Symphony of Love Post author

    @ Marie, glad that you love it. Though you may not physically be with your parents, they are always close in your heart. Whenever you miss them, just pull them out from your heart and hold them tight.

  7. Webbielady

    It’s sad to think that majority of the youngsters don’t value their old ones but sometimes others have reasons too.

    When I finished the poem, there’s a title popping out of my mind: “It’s Payback Time, Child”… 🙂

    Webbieladys last blog post..WOOF Contest – Top Picks

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Webbielady, indeed it is a pity that some youngsters don’t value their old ones as they are ignorant of the fact that one day they will have their turns. And how they are treating their old ones now, they will be ‘haunted’ one day when they are old too. And it is a pity also how some older people do not treat their young ones with unconditional love as they have forgotten that they were once young too.

      That is an interesting title. Perhaps you can write on something about it. 🙂

  8. Davina

    To echo the sentiments of the others, this was very touching. Humbling. It is a little sad though, too. Almost like this person is pleading to be taken care of. Seniors have always had a special place in my heart.
    .-= Davina´s last blog ..Guest Post: Contemporary Muses =-.

  9. Eunice

    This is so true!!! that’s why i was so ashame of myself doin bad things like aswering back to my mom and dad because i get to realize things when i became a parent. i have so many realizations in life because of everythin i’ve been through. i can only say that you will never get to appreciate your parents that much unless you, yourself become a parent.