Letter from a Mother to her 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…
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.
-written by Sergio Cadena
Dear Mom, I think I did okay. I was patient most of the time right? I treated you with respect most of the time right? I was your nurse and your daughter for so long……It was an honor and privilege to serve your physical needs. It was an honor to care for you as you cared for me, my brothers, countless foster children, and your grandchildren. I know that you loved me, I know that you appreciated all I did for you.
I wish I could do it all again.
Love you and miss you….
Hi Mom….tonight is one of those lonely nights.
I wish there was someone who felt like I do about your death. I feel so alone….Heather supports me and so does Judy. It’s different for them. Heather loves you…and she loves that you shared so much with her at the end. You and Judy had such a special bond — she misses you too, but different from how I miss you. That’s grief. We each hold a different coin with our love and our relationship with you on side and our grief on the other. Heather and Judy have coins — but they each have a unique coin.
I feel so far away from everyone…emotionally and physically. I just wanted to say I miss you. I miss your constant presence in my life. I miss knowing I could call you and you would listen…no matter what you were doing…I came first….always.
You spoiled me Mom. I know I can live without you Mom, but sometimes I dont’ feel like I can…like tonight….I miss you.
No one will ever treat me as the treasure that you did.
No one will ever love me like you did.
No one will ever take your place in my life.
When it is my time to die…like you, I will be looking forward to seeing my mom….just as you felt before you died. My time will hopefully be a long time from now becuase I love my boys and want to see them grow up. I want to hang out and watch Heather — she’s so amazing — you never know what she’s going to do next! I want to work hard and make a difference in my little corner of the world.
So, I’m lonely and I miss you…but I know my place is here. There was a time when I wasn’t sure I belonged here without you, but that’s grief. I am well aware of that. I remember after JJ died, I wasn’t sure I wanted to stay here. Jane from TCF used to tell me there would come a day when I would choose to live. She was so right….I did choose to live without JJ. I’ve gone through that again with your death. Judy helped me through those darkest days….she misses you too.
I miss you Mom. You are not here but I am…so I will wipe my tears, get a glass of water, and hug my boys.
Love you so much….
We had the vacation of a lifetime over spring break! It is something I never would have done with you alive. I know that your perspective on things from heaven is different than you had while you were here.
I took the boys to California for a week. We stayed with my Dad and Edna. This is the part you would not have been comfortable with…so I didn’t do it until now. My choice – you never said I could not or should not take the boys and stay with my Dad and Edna. I knew it would make you unhappy and I didn’t want to do that. So I waited…
This was the right time to go. The boys were the perfect age to fly with me (as the only adult…I was ready too!), and the boys were the perfect age for Universal and Disney, and SeaWorld in San Diego.
I know you watched us and you were proud of the way the boys behaved. I know you enjoyed the fun we had – just as you always did when you were with us. Alex reminded me often that you were with us on the rides and watching the shows!
I love you mom. I miss you often and still want to call you most days. But we are okay most days Mom!
Mom…I’m going to church again. I still don’t pray or read the Bible, but I am going. I need that church family, you know? I especially enjoy seeing those who remember you – Beverly, Glennis, Rhonda, Randy and LoisAnn, Pastor Michael, Audrey, George and Renee. I feel closer to you when I am close to those who remember you. I know that’s the wrong reason to go to church, but at least I’m going. I know God will use that to get to me. He’ll use anything there is to get to me. He is relentless! (Thank God…)
Today Pastor started to talk about Love. This week he talked about loving each other in the church along with loving our family. I think we’ve come a long way in that regard. I feel more love among the people at church than ever before. I need them, I want to be with them, and I even want to be like a few of them. I know how much all the cards over the years meant to you! That was love from our church family! It was tangible evidence that people were praying for you. Some people you got cards from you did not even know – but they were praying for you! How wonderful! Our church knows how to love – for the most part. I’m grateful for them.
What am I here for Mom? What purpose does God have in mind for me next? He has brought me to so many places in my life – the road to nursing for example – a perfect example of God’s plan for my life. I am hungry for another experience like that. What’s next?
Let me know if you have a minute to ask God for me – what’s next? What am I supposed to be doing? Am I in the right place? I don’t want to get lost…
Love you Mom!
Now my dad is in the hospital. He may have had a stroke. Edna called this morning from Anaheim. He had trouble moving his right leg last night so she called 911.
Here I am waiting…waiting for news…hoping he is still HIM when I see him next.
I feel quite different. Being far away and distant in so many ways removes me from responsibility. It’s not bad actually. Instead of being the caregiver and decision maker, I am a bystander. It’s not so bad.
As a nurse, of course I want to know everything but I’m not THE nurse, I am A nurse…and not his nurse.
So here I set in Indiana, waiting…waiting…for news. I have no control, no input, no decisions, did I say no control? Not sure if I like this or not. I’m used to being in control.
I’ll try this for a while. I really have no choice.
Mom? Would you ask Jesus to help Dad out?
Psalm 56:8 The Message (MSG)
You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn
through the sleepless nights,
Each tear entered in your ledger,
each ache written in your book.
God knows when I can’t sleep at night, and He knows when I cry. My God also knows when I’m experiencing the joy of my boys and the satisfaction of my job! I know that He loves me…and he loves my mom too.
Today my mom has been gone from us for an entire year. Her battle ended. Her body became whole. She joined her own mother and my son Baby JJ in heaven! She longed for that on her birthday, and God gave her that wish two days later.
Heather and I like to imagine my mom enjoying Diet Pepsi, pizza, gyros, the original Fannie May raisin clusters (before the left Chicago because you know they were never the same….), and chips and dip! Her esophagus is returned to normal. No scars, no stricture, no feeding tube, no chemo, no dehydration, no pain, no exhaustion, no more suffering.
Love you Mom!