Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Snapshot: Oh, but to be a good daughter......

Today's snapshot has to do with being a good daughter!Sadly, I am not always what I would consider to be a "good daughter". My Mother is in a nursing home, and she is at times confused. She does spend a good deal of time on her computer however, which we encourage. Yet, the there are many times when she can't remember passwords, or gets her computer locked up... and then the calls arrive, and she demands immediate attention. And I usually become cross and impatient. Shame on me.

It was during one of these incidents that I frantically cried out to Mary, in complete earnestness, asking for her help in helping me to be more patient, more tolerant.... and simply.... kind. I was in my car a the time (where I seem to do my best praying, oddly enough) driving to my Mothers. Of course, she was again stuck... and after taking a deep breath... I went in and managed to be upbeat and positive. My Mother commented as I was leaving: "Thank you for not getting mad.". I smiled at her but cringed inwardly. Am I that much of a jerk?

I'm afraid that the answer is at times, yes.

Days passed... and once again I was at my Mothers bedside, working on her computer. I have been able to be more patient... and less grumbly. My Mother was explaining to me that she couldn't remember how to get to this one game she enjoys playing. I told her how, and she argued that she had never done it that way before. So, taking a deep breath, I said "Mother, I've told you this dozens of times." She said "Annie, I know, but I just can't always remember."

I then replied "I'm so sorry, and I'm so sorry that I get mad." She shared that she didn't like when I got mad, and who can blame her? At this point I was stroking her hair and she shared that it felt good.

I smiled, and said "it does?". She looked at me, very solemnly and said "Yes, and nobody touches me anymore."

Tears filled my eyes and remorse filled my heart. I knew I was so guilty of this. Touching her has been such a harsh reminder of how frail she has become, and I have been avoiding doing so.

"Oh Mother," I said.... "I'm so sorry". We just looked at each other... connected so deeply for the first time in ages. I whispered "I love you so much" and she said "I know". I held her hand for the rest of my visit.

I've not been able to stop thinking about this since that visit a few days ago. I have felt so terrible. And then, today, in sharing this with another colleague who has elderly parents, I came to realize something quite inspiring.

This knowledge was a gift... from Mary and from God. I do believe that through Mary's intercession that I have learned so much about my Mother in the last few days. I will be able to give her something so important that I have been failing to do. I can rectify my mistakes... I can be kinder, more patient and more tolerant. I can hug her and hold her hand, and I can love her. And most of all, I can talk to her... and try and connect.

So thank you Mother Mary, for your gentle and loving intercession.


Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is
the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

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