To My Dear Children

my dear children, Arun, Sreelatha, (their mother Sreedevi), Sreekala

     This is not a sentimental note. This is the reality of my life.
     I wanted to say all this and more whenever we meet and talk, and we have tried it a few times, but always more remain, as the way it should. This is more for my blog and as expected, it could be considered a ‘diluted version’.
     As I have reached the last chapter of my life, it is customary to think about what I came through and how and when it is going to come to a close. Even though in the totality of life, one human entity is just a negligible speck, for each of us, this is all what we have. And it is normal to evaluate how we have performed.
     And from that aspect, I have been a very fortunate, blessed human being. God has been kind to me with a life of superlatives; loving and devoted grandparents and parents, affectionate siblings, being raised as a prince even with humble allowances, to have a wife that I wanted, who is honest, hardworking, principled and ‘peculiar’, and most significantly, the three of you, my children- the most beautiful, intelligent, charming, honest, sincere, courageous, affectionate, dutiful, fun loving and principled human beings. And you three are so distinctly different. And our sons in law and daughter in law who respect and love us. And the icing on my cake, our darlings, our adorable six grandchildren.
     Life is amply rewarded if your progeny turns out to be fine; and in that regard, I am more than fulfilled.
     I hope and pray that I am allowed to leave as I have lived.
     I am certain that the most important thing in life is family. My parents have sacrificed their comforts to raise us and educate us, and I have done the best I could for them, even though I wasn’t fortunate to be there physically near them. Leaving them and our age-old traditions was a huge sacrifice, but it was destiny
and perhaps was worth to meet the demands of my obligations.
     I have made a lot of dim calculations in life; been daring beyond reasoning, but every decision was taken with the best in expectation.
     If I go first, take care of mom. It is best if she is with one of you. I hope it would not be a burden. If she is to leave, I will take your input as to how to live.
     If one or both of us are chronically ill or disabled, based on the situation, we may discuss and choose. Or you decide. That has been my last prayer that such a situation doesn’t happen. I have updated my connections every year and have passed them on to you. In a normal situation, my savings should be sufficient to carry on for our needs during the remaining few years. If something unexpected happens, we will reevaluate.
     I wish I was more frugal and less generous on many counts, saving and leaving
more for all of you, but it is too late to elaborate on it. And I have no regrets about how we lived the good life .
     Our bliss is when you all visit us. We live through the rest of the year to earn those few days, to have you all around us .
     I have been watching with the ultimate pride how you have grown and taken over the next generation.
     I love you all very, very much.
Your Dad.
(P.S. Waiting for Covid to decide our next move. Ten months in India and counting.)

Author: Dr. Venugopal Menon

Was born and raised in a loving family in pre-independent India, became a doctor, served Indian army, got married, then came over to America with wife and a daughter, established as a successful Allergist, raised a family of three children, was involved in many social establishments, retired, and wrote memoirs, 'My Mother Called Me Unni, A Doctor's Tale of Migration'.

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