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Monday, 29 November 2010

Letter From Sick Mom to Daughter

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Dear Eve,

I want to write to you about what happened yesterday. You know I think you are one terrific person (I see you rolling your eyes already!) - smart, sensitive, deep, fun. Yesterday, when I was sick, I accused you of not being empathic. You said, "Yeah. I'm a terrible person."

I think this is a cop out. It's your way of shutting off anything you don't want to hear. On the one hand, I believe that "criticism is the poison between the generations." On the other hand, I feel it's my responsibility as a parent to help you develop into the best person you can be. I know I was inappropriately critical yesterday and you got appropriately defensive. I'm sorry I didn't say it right. It's hard for me to react any other way when I feel I'm at the receiving end of what appears to me to be a lack of expression of caring or concern on your part when I'm feeling so bad.

I know it's hard to see a parent be sick or under-functioning in some way, especially at this time in your life, when you're being thrown for a loop by our vulnerabilities anyway.

They say we all have everything within us: the selfish and the giving, the scornful and the supportive, the self-centered and the open heart - in short, the good and the bad. I believe that one of the reasons we are here is to work hard to develop the good and keep the bad at bay, while not denying it. In fact, its very existence, helps us to empathize with all kinds of people.

I value and appreciate the fact that you did the dishes, took out the dog, did the grocery shopping and put away the laundry - all without complain. That meant a lot to me. But it would have made me feel so good if you had said, "How are you feeling?" or "Can I get you anything?" And if you would not have pouted when you asked me to do something for you and I didn't have the energy to do it. I felt that your very asking showed that you didn't want to take in the state I was in - barely able to put one foot in front of the other and still trying to make you lunch.

I love you Eve and I'm not sure what to do about this issue. I wanted to let you know how I felt.

Love,

Mom

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