Powerful letter written from an aging mother to her daughter
The role of a mother is never singular, it changes and adapts to the needs of her children, she loves, protects and care for them no matter what. One mother decided to remind her daughter of his as she was getting older, and wrote her an unforgettable letter.
“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.”
She reminded her daughter of the many things she taught her to do, from eating appropriately to dealing with life’s issues every day, and to remember that once learning things become slow because of old age.
The important thing for her as a mother is to spend time with her daughter as she continued:
“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.”
But she ends the letter with calm reassurance as she said:
“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.”
Public-health professor, Mary Gallant, and sociologist, Glenna Spitze explored these changes and needs of older parents during a 2004 study and concluded:
“They express a strong desire for both autonomy and connection in relations with their adult children, leading to ambivalence about receiving assistance from them. They define themselves as independent but hope that children’s help will be available as needed. They are annoyed by children’s overprotectiveness but appreciate the concern it expresses. They use a variety of strategies to deal with their ambivalent feelings, such as minimizing the help they receive, ignoring or resisting children’s attempts to control …”
“One of the scariest things to people as they age is that they don’t feel in control anymore.”
Offering some advice to the adult child professor Zarit continued:
“Do not pick arguments. Do not make a parent feel defensive. Plant an idea, step back, and bring it up later. Be patient.”
Curled up next to her great-grandmother on the hospital bed, she sang ‘You Are My Sunshine’ to her while she gently caressed her face. Her great-grandmother, recognized the song looked up adoringly at her great-granddaughter as she continued. Those moments with her family is what she cherishes the most, as they surely treasure her.