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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Being a Daughter



LETTER FROM A MOTHER TO A DAUGHTER:

"My dear girl, 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 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’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."

- Unknown


A friend posted this on facebook.  You know that saying that you hear what you need to hear or you are given what you most need?  That's what this is for me.  I was having a grumpy daughter day (me being the daughter) and then someone posted this on facebook.  I was instantly reminded that my nearly 83 year old mother is indeed the person who taught me things - including to respect my elders and take care of my family.  I failed that lesson recently.

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.  I can still see my mother walking along the beach in OCNJ, looking back at my 6 or 7 year old self.  She would walk so fast on the beach - she loved doing that.  And I would dawdle, looking at every single shell.  We repeated this morning after morning, year after year.  Then one year I did that with my daughters.  I would walk along the beach and they would look at every single shell.  Morning after morning, year after year.  I can't quite remember if my mom could walk on the beach with us when my girls were little.  

Somewhere along the line, my mother became old.  She developed Parkinson's Disease.  She is no longer able to walk on the beach.  She can't really walk very far anywhere.

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. Yep.  I need to remember this one.  

I needed to be reminded that she was the one (the only one as my only parent) who taught me to listen, walk, read and write, and most importantly be a good person.  It's time I remember that last one.  I'm mindful that my girls watch me take care of her and are learning from me.  One day they'll be in my position.  I hope I teach them well.

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