Dad's Letters To My Mom

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Ms.G.
Dad's Letters To My Mom

My mom has MRD (Macular Retinal Degeneration). (She's losing her eyesight.) She wants me to read my dad's letters to her. I feel it's none of my business, and i've told her so. Should I continue to resist? She also wants me to save these letters after she dies. I've heard that is between her and my father, that I have no business keeping them. What if she asks me to promise to keep them? She says she's afraid I'll burn them. What should I do?

Mardi
Dad's Letters

My Dad didn't write letters, but he had lists.  His lists were all about the grudges, mostly towards Mom, that he didn't want to forget.  When I had to clean out his home, I had to go through all of his papers - papers everywhere! about everything! little hidden pieces of vital information mixed in with years and years of notes. Even hurtful notes about me. Obviously, I would have preferred to have read sweet loving letters like you have. Even so I felt like I was reading his most intimate and private thoughts. I was very uncomfortable with it and the memories of what I read will be with me forever. 

(Thanks - that was a vent session for me!)

Now to your situation - this sounds like an easy fix and I'll tell you why.  It sounds as if you are not accessing some of the wonderful support that your community offers.  Contact your Aging Services, State Senior Ombudsman, church group, United Way, etc.  There are many services that could offer you support with the letters, and with so much more! The internet is your friend! Do some research. 

My Mom had MRD as well.  Her physician had information about a reading service that was free.  It was basically books on tape, but they were staffed with volunteers who would have read the letters if that would have been our need.

Perhaps an easier solution would be to ask someone, anyone, to simply read the letters into a voice recorder.  They are so cheap nowdays. Then your Mom can hear them over and over again.

Allow me to encourage you to check out your communities Senior Services. it took me years to find mine - simply because I didn't realize what was there. In the end I was able to get free rides for Mom to medical appointments (I would meet them at the doctors.  It saved me so much time!), free weekly housekeeping and laundry, free books on tape and an easy to understand machine, access to a low cost beautician who came to Mom's to do her hair, a dog walker (crazy huh? They had a grant to do this!) sitting services, respite care and free activities such as drives to see the changing fall colors. 

I hope this helps you, my venting at the start helped me!