Last year, I shared this letter with all of you. Another year has gone by and another birthday for my Mom, now 94, has passed. This past year, we have had some sadness in
our family. Dad passed away two months shy of his 99 year. Over the last 10 years, since Mom was diagnosed with dementia, Dad had been the one to take care of her, as he always did, until he was no longer able to.
She now lives in a world that is the size of a grapefruit. Though she knows who I am and my children, her ability to remember things that were said moments earlier is now gone and her memory of her past is also pretty much gone too.
I visit her almost every day not because I know she won’t remember my visit, but when she sees me coming up the walk of her assisted living, her eyes brighten and her smile is amazing. It gives her that moment.
“A LETTER FROM A MOTHER TO HER DAUGHTER”
“My dear girl, the day you see I am 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 think 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 little 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 occasionally 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 will 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.
I can’t imagine saying this any better…
My little secret: Be kind, and love every moment with your Mom. I am one of the lucky ladies to still have a beautiful mother who when she holds my hand, I still feel the gentleness of her touch and the warmth of her soul. Happy Birthday, MOM.