Letters at a natural end…


For weeks I’ve gone about a Friday routine of writing a letter to my mother (even though you’ve seen none of the pages).  On every envelope is scrawled the notation ‘Please open and read to Barbara.’   Now, I find that few, if any, of the more recent letters have been opened.

That is because her condition has worsened; she is weak and cannot eat on her own.  She’s been moved to another facility better able to care for her more immediate health situation.  My brother and I are hopeful she can regain her strength and return to the location she has come to view as her home.

It looks as if years of writing to my parents has reached a natural end.  It is disheartening for me to know that as far as letters to my parents are concerned, there really will be no more.  It was my lifeline to them in a way they could grasp.  It brought me some comfort that at least I was doing my best to stay in touch.  Many posts ago, I alluded to the fact the ink-on-paper was how many people in their age group got their news whether it was world, state  and local events as well as social doings.  Electronic methods and gadgetry so in vogue were of little use to mom and dad.  They were information aliens in cyberspace, especially my mother.

So now I have no way to communicate with mom.  She has no phone in her room, and if she did her eyesight is such she could not locate it.  She cannot read.  The best my brother and I can do is hold his cell phone up to her ear while I talk and she listens.   But it’s hard for her to comprehend and process what she’s hearing.  It’s not feasible, either, to travel to see mom as often as a good son should do.  The 1,238 miles between us has a way of interrupting the personal touch she needs.  Tomorrow, Friday, there will be no letter.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Letters at a natural end…

  1. Judy Wilson

    Dave: Just read your note about not being able to communicate with your Mom. I understand and feel your angst. My Step-Mom, with whom I have a special feeling, is in the same situation. She is turning 95 in March, cannot hear well at all, cannot see to read, but has all other faculties. Her memory is good and she is able to communicate her feelings. She is now in a nursing home because of physical problems and we cannot get to see her anytime soon. I will keep you and your Mom in my thoughts and hope that we all can come to terms with the aging process. It is, at times more than we can comprehend and we wish our parents could experience a better quality of life at this time and at this point of their life span.

  2. D_, I am so sorry to read what has been going on with your mom. I’ve been having issues at home here also with my husband, mom, father-in-law and even my dogs health here the last few months so I’ve been out of touch too much. Some of our issue have resolved themself as your fathers did, some are getting better but to hear about your mom so soon after losing your dad has to be especially hard.
    Know that you have done all you can do to bring her joy these last few years, and I hope you realize how much your letters have meant to her and to your family in documenting the families legacy. God be with you and your family in these difficult times.

  3. Pam Shaffer

    David
    You know Bradley, most people, myself included, read your letters to your parents and children and are a little saddened that we did not think of this years ago.

    I understand your sadness on knowing your mom cannot read your letters anymore, but since we both lost a parent recently, we know the comfort of still having the other one around.

    I know that your mom has thousands of memories floating around in her head, and some of thes best ones are her and your dad reading your letters together.

    That is a memory for all of your family to cherish forever.

  4. Pammy

    David, keep writing to your mom. These letters have really never been for her, but for you. And while she is not able to read them hersefl — and believe me I know of the frustration of how the letters just don’t seem to get read — keep writing, as you have. And when you see her next, take the letters and read to her yourself. It will mean so much to her that you kept writing; kept thinking of her every day. Do it. Love, Pammy

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