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Looking Through The Windshield

Posted Jul 26 2012 3:08pm


Dear Grandma:

It’s been nearly 30 years since I wrote that letter  asking you to get off my case about my weight. It’s funny, because when I found it at your house, I saw your notation on the envelope that you had responded a few days later. I have NO recollection of your response.

But that’s not the point of this letter.

It’s been about a year since you named me your Power of Attorney, Healthcare Agent/Conservator, and Trustee, and it’s been five months since you fell at home and had to be placed in a nursing home. I know you think it’s only been a couple of weeks, and that you’ll be going home soon…it’s a blessing that your mind doesn’t work as well as it used to, for your sake as well as for mine.

When I stepped in to take care of you and your personal business I knew it would be a transformative experience for me. For so long I have had a (false) view of myself as someone who is irresponsible and weak-willed…someone who couldn’t take care of herself, never mind someone else.

Since 2005 I have been learning the truth about myself and I’ve discovered that I am actually quite capable. Of many things. Of course, I often have to remind myself of the fact. It’s easy for me to fall back into old, insecure patterns…to look back instead of forward, to hide instead of shine.

Looking through the windshield of my life now, at nearly 50 years old, is certainly different than it was 30 years ago…or even just 10 years ago.

In my future I see a fit, healthy, vibrant woman who doesn’t hide and who doesn’t see herself through the eyes of others .

I see a woman who doesn’t try and fix others…who doesn’t rely on others to reflect well upon her.

I see a woman who isn’t afraid to practice self-discipline …to take a good, long (compassionate AND objective) look at herself and make changes as needed or desired.

I see a woman who assumes the basic goodness in herself and others, and who assumes that others see it too. And whether they do or they don’t, this woman knows that it’s not about her, it’s about them.

I see a woman who has learned the difference between being herself, and “being herself, dammit!”

Just 10 short years ago I couldn’t imagine this woman existing inside of me.

So I have to thank you, Grandma, for giving me this opportunity. If you had died as a result of your fall, I would have missed out on some lessons I didn’t know I needed to learn. See you soon.

Love, Karen

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