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A letter to Anna
Internal Administrator
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 11:17 AM
Joined: 1/14/2015
Posts: 40463

Originally posted by: AJPCotter

Anna is my MIL with AD. I thought I would write her a letter in case time travel were ever possible, someone could travel back in time and give the letter to the remembering Anna.

Dear Anna,
It's been about 4 years now since you've been forgetting. When you are not caught up in the confusion and anger of why you can no longer live on your own, you are a happy lady living out the twilight years with your grandchildren. They adore you by the way! Ella runs up to your legs and throws her little arms around you. When you go to bed, Ella waves and says bye bye. She says luv you when you go to leave. Adam is very intuitive and knows something is up with your long stay here. (You've been here since January.) He loves playing with you because in your inability to feel stresses from everyday living, you sit intently and listen to his wild imagination. You seldom get bored of watching him 'work' his farm equipment and interact with his as though you both understand life, and living in this world today.
Tom has pained so much over your deteriorating condition. He wants so badly to provide care for you much like the care and love you gave him growing up. He frequently tosses and turns at night and I know it is from worry about you. Worry if you staying with us is the best thing for you, for him, for all of us. Worry if by intending to give you the best life right now as this disease holds a steady grip on your reality that he is possibly causing more harm than good. You and Dan raised Tom to be self sufficient, firm in his beliefs yet malleable when life's road is too bumpy to travel down it's original path. You were married for 17 years before God blessed you with a child. How anyone can not see that as a miracle is beyond me. Unfortunately, today you can no longer remember when his birthday is. But that is ok, Anna. I will remember for the both of us. I will, until I take my last breath, cherish the life you and Dan created. For without that creation, I wouldn't be married to my best friend, and we wouldn't have the two amazing children God blessed us with. Please know in your heart of hearts, that Tom loves you very much. In those evening hours when we are both so tired from the daily grind, he tells me stories of all the great things you did. He shares with me the moments in his life when he screwed up, and you loved him anyway. Truly, Anna, you are an amazing woman. I know you don't remember all those times right now, but it is ok, he will remember them all for the both of you. He will always have sweet memories of your homemade chocolate chip cookies, and how you and Dan and he would recite the rosary in May and Oct. every morning. He will remember those moments because that is how he can be such a great dad to Adam and Ella. It's because of you and Dan.
Then there is me. I met you on a cold but sunny New Years day in 2001. Dan could still walk and Kirby was a puppy. I was the first girl Tom brought home. You prepared a big dinner for us with a lace table cloth and used the good china. Immediately I felt at home and always did thereafter. Your selfless generosity was intimidating to me initially but you always made me feel like I belonged. For years you gave up anything extra so you could stay home to be with Tom then Dan when he could no longer work. I do not possess that same selfless spirit, I am ashamed to say. Our roles have reversed quite dramatically in the last few years. You no longer can take care of yourself like you took such loving care of Dan for so many years. It is I who now prepares your plate, careful to cut up the big pieces so you don't choke. I help you with your bath and see the skin and bones you've whittled down to. I wash your clothes and set them out on the bathroom counter much like I do for Adam and El. You and I do not have the history that most mothers and daughter-in-laws get to experience. When you were remembering, you were preoccupied with Dan's care, when Dan was gone, you left us too, only in mind and spirit. When you told us about the morning that Dan died you were so strong, not shedding a tear but now I realize you couldn't shed a tear for him. You weren't sad that he was gone because a part of you left with him. You were never the same since that day in May almost 4 years ago. I now understand why you always remarked that you were free after Dan died. You were free because your figurative heart ascended into heaven along with Dan's. Holding his hand, side by side you went. You felt immeasurable relief that he was no longer suffering, immeasurable relief that you no longer had to watch him suffer.
You must know, that you did an amazing job raising your son. I'm sorry you weren't able to enjoy more children because you and Dan were very good parents. He is my everything and his roots have melded into my own. I promise you Anna, I will do anything and everything in my power to take care of him as selflessly as you took care of Dan. Rest assured, his pain is my pain and his happiness is my own, I would never compromise him or his commitment to me and our family.
You no longer know any of the prayers at church, but that is ok too because Tom and I know them and recite them for you. You would be amazed at how many people pray for you, for us. You would be embarrassed by it probably, not liking people to make a fuss over you. But what you've already forgotten are all the people that you made a fuss over. Helping people with the ag commission on aging, offering compassion to all in your charge when you were a nurse. Praying for and forgiving those who wronged you or your family. So now it is time to be paid back for all your loving care, selfless actions, compassion and empathy. We will gladly take care of you until your physical body can meet up with Dan in heaven. I imagine you walking hand in hand with him along side a corn field in the bright summer's sun. Chasing around you is Kirby. And at last Anna, you will be free from the shackles that hold your life's memories prisoner. Finally, the shell of a person here on earth will be returned to it's original state of a bright woman with shining eyes, a warm heart and peace at last.

With love and respect,

Alissa Green Bay
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 11:17 AM
Originally posted by: Gail

What a beautiful letter. It made me wish I knew your MIL!
God bless,