I found this a few months ago on Facebook and shared it then. It is really powerful and so pertinent to my time here in Douglas with Teresa.
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."
Although Teresa is my aunt, she is just like a mother. Judy and I were fortunate to grow up with two mothers and if you count Mary, which I do, three. Three wonderful women all strong in different ways.
Teresa turned 92 in July. I have seen a big decline over the past 6 months or so. So many of the things that are mentioned in the letter, I am dealing with her. I have to be careful not to say "remember" and many times it is hard to be patient.
Of course, I always have to find the humor in things. The other night we were sitting watching TV. Teresa had the remote. I asked her to please turn to Channel 13. About 10 seconds later, I told her that she needed to use the remote and not her cell phone to change the channel. We both laughed. And I know that this is hard on her because she is such an intelligent woman and I can only imagine how frustrating things can be.
These past four years with her have been a blessing for both of us as I have said before. She is truly one of the best human beings around!!!!!