Stuck in a cycle caring for self, mom
Dear Annie: My mom had a stroke a few months ago. My husband and I are building a house, so my brother suggested it would be easier if we stayed with her to help with her rehabilitation. But the biggest problem is that I’m out of my work right now for medical reasons and am not really able to help her. What I have done so far has only made my condition worse. How do I break this cycle? — Feeling Hopeless
Dear Hopeless: You might feel like the situation is hopeless because both you and your mother are dealing with medical issues. However, I see a lot of hope on the horizon. Once you recover, you will be able to help your mother physically with her rehabilitation. In the meantime, you can support her emotionally and mentally by sharing stories and or perhaps by sharing your own struggles. She gets to see that she’s not in this alone. Also, you are correct that you have to focus on getting better yourself before you can help her out. There is a reason that during the airplane video they tell parents to put their masks on first before they put their child’s mask on.
Let those around you support as well. Can your husband help with his mother-in-law? Of course, he might have his hands full taking care of you right now, but rather than you trying to take care of your mother, see if he can help on that front. And then there is your brother, who suggested that you live with Mom. Can he help?
Dear Annie: Thank you for printing Jim Aitken’s great “Letter from Grandma,” which brought tears to my eyes. It was the best letter ever. Being a grandma myself, and the same age, too, what a great thing for a grandson to do. Remembering their many conversations, he wrote the letter as if it came from his own grandma, and it was all true. He understood her observations about aging, and how much he loved her. He truly was a great friend to his grandmother. That’s really the way it should be between grandma and grandchildren — a real friendship. We can learn a lot from each other, especially in finding beauty in the ugly part of aging. — Just Another Grandma
Dear Grandma: Thank you for writing in. That truly was a beautiful letter about the relationship between a grandson and his grandmother. Often, the very young and the very old can teach middle-aged adults valuable lessons about the real meaning of a life well-lived; namely, loving each other.
Dear Annie: As a faithful reader, I want to thank you for the turn your column has taken in recent weeks. Like many of your readers, my husband, cat and I are sheltered carefully at home during this time of crisis.
It gives me such comfort and joy to read your column in the paper every morning. Thank you so much for assembling such a heartening collection of imaginative and loving kindness! You and your readers have given me many good ideas for brightening the corner where I am. — Your Grateful Reader
Dear Grateful: Such a sweet note. Thank you so much! Readers, please keep sharing the bright spots of your days; it makes a difference.