Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A letter to a mother .....

Today, I saw a post which included a letter from a mother to her daughter. I see a lot of myself in that letter, both as a daughter and as a mother. Although, I must admit, the daughter part of me is a far better example of what one should be than the mother side of me. But, all I can say is I did my best raising my four boys and I hope they know that they are my heart.

I am blessed. I can honestly say that my mother has all of the redeeming qualities listed below; patience, love, understanding, wisdom.

I remember laying with her in bed while she read me stories. We would wriggle our toes under the blankets so the cat would "attack" our feet.

She would go to great lengths to get me whatever I needed. Like the time I had ripped my pants and needed her to bring a replacement pair to school ... over 50 miles away.

She would patiently sit through my frustrated temper tantrums while trying to explain to me the simple aspects of algebra, as I was making it more difficult than it needed to be.

Having raised my four boys, I know there are many moments I didn't display all the right attributes or temperaments, but I see them as parents themselves now, and I know I did some things right.

Unfortunately, I also see a lot of the harsh truths in this letter from a mother.

My mother calls and repeats the same stories she had relayed last time we spoke. Sometimes she repeats the story during the same phone call. I let her tell her story and acknowledge her when appropriate. I do not chastise her and only assist or correct her when she lets me know she'd appreciate the help.

We have had our go-rounds with regards to getting her hair done and getting a manicure. I could never talk her into a pedicure. ANd the fear of falling in the shower or tub pretty much ensured she wasn't going to bathe as requested ( or required ) ... but I can't say I blame her as I fear falling, even at my age!!!

Over the years she certainly has slowed as she is aging. What tasks she used to do with ease, became more of a chore for her. Her walking developed into a slow-speed shuffle. Getting in and out of her chair was accompanied by moans and groans.... Now she is in a wheel chair and cannot even do the simplest of things without assistance.

Her cell phone, audio recorder from the Department of the Blind, and hearing aides are just as much a mystery to me as they are to her.

I do my best to live by the advice in this letter as I know she would do the same for me.

From a mother to a daughter, but it applies to sons and fathers, as well.

 "My dear daughter, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.

 If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, 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 I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl? 

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 eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with life’s issues every day... the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. 

If I occasionaly 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 understand me while I get to the end 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. "

If you've read this all the way through, call your mother and tell her you love her. 

<3 <3 <3

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