Letters from Madelyn – Chapter 4
“And for This I Take Vitamins!”
Finding peace and happiness from within was my mother’s secret to survival as a caregiver. Nothing about her life was easy or pleasant. She decided in order to survive emotionally, she would have to develop a detached attitude toward my Dad’s condition and her situation. She later came to call it an “Attitude of Creative Indifference”. I asked her once what the difference was between having a detached attitude and an attitude of creative indifference.
She said, “It’s the same thing. You can call it whatever you want to call it. What it means is not allowing yourself to become emotionally ravaged by the disease or the progression of events.”
I made the decision to edit my mother’s letters into the book, “Letters from Madelyn” on Mother’s Day, 2004, after being asked to speak at our church about Mother-Daughter relationships. I wanted people to know who she had been in her own words, so I went to the garage and pulled down a large moving box my husband had labeled “Letters from Madelyn”. I looked through dozens of letters looking for this one.
At church I read a few excerpts and told a couple of stories. Afterward, people came up to me and said, “You have to write a book!” I knew they were right, and I started editing Mom’s letters the next day.
This is the letter that started it all. I believe Mom’s “detached” attitude and being able to find peace and happiness from within helped her do what had to be done and was a major factor in her survival as a caregiver.