“You don’t have to wait till the bus pulls out. I am sure that you have more important things to do”, dad said when I dropped him off at the bus station this morning. He had been visiting and was on his way home. (Dad and mum live in Penang, about 250 miles away.) Something more important to do? I don’t think so.

Dad is 80 and living with congestive heart failure. His physical strength has deteriorated quite a lot these past two years. He was always so active, so strong. Now he walks slow measured steps. A little extra exertion and he pants for breath. He needs to urinate every twenty minutes or so because of the diuretics he is taking. Growing old isn’t for wimps.

It is a time of loss. Loss of physical powers. Loss of family and friends. He had four brothers. They have all passed on. “I am the last of the Mohicans” dad would often joke.
He would look at old photos from his school days and then say, almost in passing, “I am the only one left.”

I once read that the pains and losses of growing old are part of God’s mercy, helping us to loosen our grip on this life so that He can give us the next one.