How Being a Motherless Daughter Helped Me Adapt to a COVID World

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change. Charles Darwin, English naturalist, geologist and biologist

As an eight-year-old who suddenly found herself without a mother, I adapted. I got to know and love my dad, learned to accept my motherless status, became independent and resourceful. 

Like my early days as a motherless child, I was miserable during the first few weeks after my life was hijacked by COVID-19. I told myself, however, that because I had learned resilience and adaptability at an early age and beyond, I had the tools to adapt. I had faith that I would rebound and I did. 

Do I love staying at home, not seeing my kids and grands, not going to church, lunching with friends or eating food cooked by others? No! Have I adapted to my new-normal and found interesting and creative ways to “do” life? Yes! My early days of learning adaptability are serving me.

Affirmation: I know how to adapt to change.

Coaching questions: How are you adapting to the new-normal? How are your past life experiences serving you during this time? What have you learned? 

Photo by Evgeni Tcherkasski on Unsplash

Is Your Body, “Pleasant to be With?”

It’s really pleasant to be with, familiar, faithful, complaining a little, continually going about its business, loving to lie down. Lillian Morrison, poet, excerpt from her poem, Body

This excerpt from the lovely poem, Body, reminds me how fortunate I am to have this old, familiar body that complains only a little and generally goes about its business. I’m missing going to the gym during this time of  COVID-19 but I’m committed to staying active with walking and swim aerobics. 

As a motherless daughter of a motherless daughter…both dying in their 30s…I’ve always felt that, for me, all the years past 35 have been gravy. So as I approach a healthy, happy 75, my life is better than gravy. My life is a second helping of mashed potatoes with the gravy.

Affirmation: My body is “pleasant to be with.”

Coaching questions: What’s your motivation to keep your body healthy? How’s that working out for you? How do you view the years following the “anniversary” year of being the same age as your mother when she died?

P.S. It’s sad that I couldn’t find any photos on the Internet of older ladies working out

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Photo by Jon Flobrant

Who Are Your Closest Five?

In prosperity our friends know us. In adversity, we know our friends. Colin Powell, American politician and retired four-star general 

Friends are exceptionally important to me. As an early loss, motherless daughter and only child, I frequently seek out women to fill the mother/sister void in my life. I’ve learned that in adversity we know our friends, as General Powell says. In my lifetime, I have disappointed people, made them angry, and lost their trust. Some friends retaliated and abandoned me, others, the true friends, stood by me knowing I needed help to regain my balance. I’ve learned to carefully chose my friends. 

Jim Rohn, author and motivational speaker, says, “The most intimate of our associations, the closest five, have the greatest impact on our self worth, our habits, and our lifestyles.” Choose your five well—be one of the five for someone else. Friends matter!

Affirmation: I choose my friends carefully. 

Coaching questions: What do friends mean to you? If you don’t have close friends, how might you cultivate meaningful relationships? In what ways do you show up as a friend?

IMG_3763.jpgOne of my closest five

Tips For Caregivers From A Motherless Daughter

Alzheimer’s SUCKS!☹😭 Robyn, motherless daughter

I met Robyn in a Alzheimer’s on-line support group. I’m not a caregiver but I’m in the group to offer support to those who are. In her final post, Robyn offered some great advice. Family members are frequently the best experts. 

Final post 💜….. (written by Robyn)

I’d  like to thank all in this group, including administrators. This group pulled me up when I couldn’t. My Mom, Terry, had Alzheimer’s. She passed  2/12/17. I stayed in this group after she passed to “pay it forward. ” For those just starting this journey, I would like to share a bit of advice from MY point of view. 

1) U are not “less than” if u put ur L.O. in a nursing home. 

2)  The only medication my mom had was her baby doll, with whom she was buried. It gave her a “purpose.” Buy one!

3)  Get yourself educated about the disease as early as possible. If I had learned earlier, I would not have tried to reason with my mother.

4) Live in their world.

5) Feeding tubes only prolong the agony. 

6) When death is near, their loved ones from beyond come to take them. I was not there when my mother passed but I believe that she was not alone😔.

7)  If you are raising children, put them 1st. Your loved one would want that. I was a single mother sandwiched between my son and my mother. I did the best I could.

8)  And finally, to those who are just starting this journey…God bless you. 💜💜💜💜💜💜

ps…Alzheimer’s SUCKS!☹😭

Affirmation: I learn from others’ experiences.

Coaching questions: What advice would you give others based on your life experiences? How will you get your message out so, like Robyn, you too can make a difference? 

 

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Photo by Tomasz Sroka on Unsplash

About A Body

It’s really pleasant to be with, familiar, faithful, complaining a little, continually going about its business, loving to lie down. Lillian Morrison, poet, excerpt from her poem, Body, taken from When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple

Getting back to the gym recently after nearly a week away reminded me that it is an uphill battle to stay “in shape” as we age. I feels like it involves two steps forward, three steps back. But this portion of the lovely poem, Body, reminds me how fortunate I am to have this old, familiar body that complains only a little and generally goes about its business.

As a motherless daughter of a motherless daughter…both dying in their 30s…I’ve always felt that, for me, all the years past 35 are gravy. So as I approach a healthy, happy 73, my life is better than gravy, it’s a second helping of mashed potatoes with the gravy.

Affirmation: My body is “pleasant to be with”.

Coaching questions: What’s your motivation to keep your body healthy? How’s that working out for you? How do you view the years following the “anniversary” year of being the same age as your mother when she died?