Changing Roles

Dear parents,

I write to you this letter because you are starting a new chapter in your life. We had talked about what would happen when you passed away, but never about your retirement. I find it silly now that we hadn’t discussed it. Perhaps it is because your role as a provider is very much ingrained in my mind as well as yours.

First of all, I want to tell you that just because I want to talk about this, doesn’t mean I am taking away your autonomy. I don’t want to become your parent and tell you what you have to do. I merely want to help you organize your finances so that you can do as you please. Perhaps there will come a time when you will need me more, and I want you to know that I will always keep your best interest at heart.

Lets talk about what you would like to do in this chapter of your life. Do you want to travel? Perhaps you would like to buy a new home where you will be able to move around on your own regardless of your age. What will happen when you are ill?

I know it is hard to “let go” of your role as my caregiver, and to focus on taking care of yourself, but I guarantee you that I will be okay. You have taught me everything I need to know about hard work, making budgets, not overspending and preparing for a rainy day. I will still call you for advice when I want to buy a new home or a new car. You will always be my number one advisor, but you are no longer responsible for my well being. This is a time for you!

I know that right now, I don’t understand what you are feeling as you lose more and more control of my decisions. You must be certain that you taught me well, and that I will recover from whatever pickle I am in. I also want to show MY children how I would like to be treated when I am your age: with respect and with love.

So go on and enjoy your life! Now that you have no more tuition to pay or food or clothes to buy me, do as you please with what you have worked for! Take care of your needs first, and let me figure out what to do about mine. I will not starve and I will not be homeless because you have taught me to take care of myself! I promise you I will be alright!

With love and admiration,

Your children who are children no longer

This letter was inspired by the following article: Don’t Wait to Have This Conversation with your Parents