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My dear girl,
The day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient. Most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If I repeat the same thing a thousand times when we talk, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago.” Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little, and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep.
When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad, and don’t embarrass me. Remember when you were just a girl? You were all excuses, and I had to run after you to get you to take a shower.
When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn, and don’t look at me that way. Remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eat appropriately, get dressed, comb your hair and deal with life’s issues every day.
The day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient. Most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If I occasionally lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you.
And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked. When those days come, don’t feel sad. Just be with me, and help me experience this phase of my life with love. I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you, my darling daughter.
--original text in Spanish by Guillermo Pena, translation by Sergio Cadena, Spring in the Air, reprinted with permission.