I listened to her story. Tale upon tale was shared of the years of giving to others and being available to them. Her mothering instincts have a way of kicking in when others are hurt or struggling. She gave, not asking for anything in return. She gave, often at a great cost financially or even more costly, at a great emotional cost.
The years have not been kind to her. Her body is giving way to the burden it has carried of taking on tasks that were not meant for her, for any woman. Her frame is weak and progressively becoming misshapen. She voiced concerns of mental alertness beginning to wane as well as her physical endurance. This has put a new fear into her. But oddly enough, the need she expressed today was the need for respect.
She needs to be needed. She needs to be valued. She needs to be celebrated as passionately and readily as others have been honored. Her voice was gentle today, lacking any sharpness. Her words were humble today, lacking any manipulation or blame.
I wondered as I listened to her. I wondered how her daughters would respond if they knew. I wondered how her daughters would respond if they knew how little she expects from them. Respect is what she longs for, with their time and attention. Empty cards and empty promises are what she receives.