Let me talk about the past; I may not always remember what happened yesterday but treasured moments of years gone by bring a smile to my face.

Don't treat me like a baby; the only time I need to feel like a child is when I receive much needed cuddles and hugs.

Please don't laugh at the way I look; one day, if you're lucky, you too will have white hair, many earned wrinkles and a pouch where your toned muscles used to be.

Be proud of me as we walk arm in arm down the street

I would appreciate it if you wouldn't rush me; I hurried all my life and need to slow down now.

If we're going on an outing, please allow me lots of time to get ready.

Yes, ingestion and elimination are important issues to me at this time in my life; so if you take me somewhere, it would be so nice if you brought along a snack and ensure that a bathroom is nearby.

I enjoy being at the table with you for a meal; if I don't talk much, don't worry about it as I'm benefiting just by not being alone.

Ask me for advice or my opinion once in a while; I still enjoy feeling needed.

I know I am in the twilight of my life; I don't wish to be constantly reminded.

My world, like my height, is shrinking. I have lost many of my peers and now need as much human contact as possible.

Laugh with me now and then; humor is a remarkable elixir.

To my children:

I may repeat myself often, but I cherish the times I listened to your stories about school or friends over and over again; please be patient with me.

Take me with you once in a while on an errand; I realize that it is a big effort for you but seeing people is good for me.

Please don't be embarrassed by my appearance; now, more than ever, my clothes need to be functional and comfortable. Be proud of me as we walk arm in arm down the street.

The wisdom I have acquired along the way may be useful to some of you

Try to forgive the mistakes I made as a parent; remember that we are all imperfect and in case I forget to tell you – please know that I will love you forever, my precious child.

My journey has often been marked by sharp, uneven pebbles, other times lined with blooming flowers; the wisdom I have acquired along the way may be useful to some of you.

Our outside covering simply shelters what is within; take a moment to look at me, really look at me and see the beauty inside my soul.

I can still enjoy life

My heart sings when I am surrounded by friends and loved ones

And, by the way, dignity is never overrated.