A Grandmother With MS's Letter to her Grandchildren

Vicki Health Guide
  • Dear Grandchildren,

    Mother's Days was just a few days ago. It always brings memories to me of scribbled cards and sometimes bouquets of wild flowers picked for me by my children. Some were actually weeds with little flowers they thought were so pretty, so they were flowers to me, too. Now my grandchildren, I always think of you as so cute, so sweet. I love you all so much, and I always appreciate your thoughtfulness and what you give me.

    But as we grow, we change. You are becoming young adults, and I must deal with my new adversary that is multiple sclerosis, or MS. Life changes, and we certainly change with it, but a mother's (and grandmother's) love is the same. It's just that sometimes adjustments are necessary, and we can make them together.

    There are times I ask you to understand that it was always my intention to attend your birthday parties, but my MS body just would not let me go. I will always mark those days, remembering when and how you came in to this world and how you're growing. I do show up some of the time for special occasions, and I am sorry to say that it may be less often as time goes by. MS does that. As a grandmother, I have to learn to say, "I hope I can." As a grandchild, I hope you hear, "I love you even when I am not there."

    I hope you also understand when we are doing something together that I may have to stop or not continue as long as I would like. As an MSer, I cannot do as much as other grandparents, and sometimes I am just too tired. It's not that I don't want to share those experiences with you.

    My sweethearts, I must say, since I have been in my wheelchair, you have been so kind. When you asked if you could help me me, I knew you cared. Now, I am happy when you walk beside my power chair. You have learned that, with a little care, a wheelchair is not so scary.

    I saw Paris Hilton and her mother Kathy on Ellen DeGeneres talking about Paris' grandmother who had MS. Paris said she remembers her grandmother only in bed. In this interview, Kathy Hilton was wearing an orange t-shirt and promoting
    the Erase MS program.

    This made me think of
    my grandmother  who was eventually in bed full-time. Her doctors said there was no reason she could not walk. In those days, MS was not always understood. We didn't know why she didn't try. I think she had MS, and I wish I had understood then.

    I hope you will understand, but I know you will. I may not go to your birthday
    , but you can talk with me, call me, e-mail and tell me what you have been doing and what you plan to do. I love it when you to tell me what you think is neat and what you don't like.

    Why does it matter? I knew you when you were so little, and I could participate in your interests and activities. I want you to know if my condition means I am in bed, I still want to hear you. I also want to communicate some of the things I noticed and learned throughout my life. I think some of my experiences may be useful or interesting to you.

    I have read that children who have a relationship with their grandparents fare better than those who don't. I am so glad we have a relationship and can can send email, pictures, cards, and teach hobbies and skills.

    We have developed a relationship, beginning with my loving your own scribbled characters. I'm grateful for your understanding about my condition.

    Most lovingly,

    Your Grandmother

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Published On: May 12, 2010