I got a letter (yes, a real, handwritten on stationery letter!) from my sister-in-law (my sort-of sister-in-law… she was married to my husband’s brother and we kept her even after they divorced). She has a real talent for writing letters.
A big part of this letter was about her 94 year-old mother who now lives with her. They are one of those mother-daughter pairs who haven’t seen eye-to-eye since the daughter hit her teens, long ago. It hasn’t been easy since her mother moved in, cranky and critical, but really needing care. L loves her mom, though, and has persevered in her role as caretaker. Most of their interactions, she says, now revolve around food, water, pills… and dry pants. In this letter, she said she has come to realize her mom really isn’t going to make it to a hundred and five. Her mother isn’t a happy person, never has been. But L says she has sensed some peace in her mom lately. And so she says, she is trying to live each day with her as if it might be her mother’s last day on earth.
She wouldn’t want to be mean to her on her last day.