Friday, September 10, 2010

Daughter's Day

I think I'm going to write my esteemed legislative representatives and demand that they declare the first Sumday in October as Daughter's Day. A day to honor the unsung heros in this world. You see, daughters are the forgotten family members. Daughters are the ones expected to be there for their families, and when the time comes, for their aging parents.

I speak from experience here, and know many, many daughters, who when push comes to shove, are there for their aging parents, especially their aging mothers. In return all we ask is a thank you from (1) our parents, and (2) our siblings. We don't get the thank you but we get the privilege of being there when we are needed, and do it without hesitation. We can sleep at night knowing we give our gift of love and compassion.

Mom and I had a real love/hate relationship, but when she needed me I was there. She knew I would be. The older she got, the more she needed me. Fortunately my brother was there to help out as well, so I wasn't on the road alone, but ultimately it was me that Mom looked to for help. It was a surreal adjustment in our relationship, with me becoming the "parent" and it wasn't easy on either one of us.

I had friends ask me why I cared for my Mom considering the way she treated me. My answer was always the same, she took care of me at one point in my life so I'm taking care of her at this point of her life. It was the right thing to do, the expected thing to do, and who would do it if not me. You don't turn your back on your aging parent when they need you.

Becoming old and frail is scary, and you need to have someone you trust step up to the plate to care for you. When Mom got sick and frail I could see the fear in her eyes, and the trust she had in me. I couldn't let her down. This is true for the daughters who have and who now are caring for their aging mothers. Our mothers trust us. Sure, in many relationships there is a lot of angst, but there is always the trust.

Now that time has past, I can see that one of the kindest gifts Mom gave me was making me pull out the love and compassion I had in me, and putting it to use. Caring for Mom was hard, I won't deny it. It was exhausting physically, mentally, and emotionally. It was a strain on my family life, my marriage, and on my professional life, but in retrospect a gift. She also knew that I loved her enough to put everything slide to care for her, but she also learned I had my limits.

Caring for her taught us both where we stood with each other, and what we meant to each other. We fought, we cried, and we also laughed alot. I grew up while caring for her, and learned a lot about myself.

For all of you daughters taking care of your aging parents, especially your aging mother, thank you. You are an angel on earth, and your parent knows this. In time you too will see the gift given to you by being selfless, giving your care, compassion, love and time when it is needed the most.

As for my Mom she did say thank you in the end. The day before she died she came out of her coma to say "I love you." Those three words said it all for me.

Would Mom support a national Daughter's Day? You bet she would. Who knows, maybe she's already contacted our esteemed legislative representatives and has them working on it.




  1. Great blog Sue, brought a tear to my eye. I also have a tenuous relationship with my mom but ever since I had Vaughn it seems to have brought us closer together. Still lots to work on, but most definitely, I will be there for her if she needs me. Thanks for reminding us the purpose of family.

  2. Sue,

    This one was a great tribute to your mother. I was very blessed taking care of mother. Yes I know you and your mom had good and bad days. I am vert greatful, glad, and feel very privlleged to have been there with my mother for her last 3 and 1/2 years of her life.

    Love you girl,