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A Daughter’s Journey: Always Go

A Daughter's Journey Blog Series

 

 

 

 

 

I barely remember my grandma’s funeral. I was five, and I’ve been told I drew some pretty pictures that were placed in her casket. I remember when she was sick, though. She and my aunt were on vacation when my grandma, my mom’s mom, had a stroke.

It was a different era, when men were at the office and women were in the kitchen raising kids. Our dad was busy with work, and my mom debated hauling me and my sister across the country to see her mother in the hospital.

She sought advice from our pastor, who said simply, when you don’t know if you should go or not, always go.

When my mom had a hip replacement several years ago, I didn’t visit her in the hospital. I worked full time, had a toddler to potty-train, and lived a half hour away. I was busy.

I was self-absorbed, oblivious to how much my actions affected others. I made it to their house a few days later, and she held my hand and cried: She was sad that I hadn’t come sooner. I hadn’t felt guilt like that since I was 10 and stole a pack of gum from the neighborhood pharmacy.

She told me this story about our pastor years later, and it’s a proverb I took to heart. It was a lesson learned: We are all in this life together.

So, if I’m undecided about mailing a sympathy card because I barely know the person, I send a card anyway. If I’m questioning bringing dinner to a family whose daughter broke her leg at soccer practice, I drop off a pizza. If I don’t know if I should hug someone who’s clearly grieving, I grab them tightly.

BrightStar Care is honored to feature Leah’s unique story, an experience shared by many adult children as their parents grow older and caregiving roles begin to reverse. Follow Leah’s journey here.

All names, including the author’s, have been changed to protect identities, and Leah has no affiliation with BrightStar Care.

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