An email from my oldest daughter, Tovi

Dear Dad,

On the ride back home to Wilmington from Richmond … I did what you know I often do…I cried and was sad pretty much the entire four hour trip.

Since I left Richmond to attend the University of South Carolina in 1990 it’s always the same. Richmond was our home, the only home I ever knew growing up and no matter where I have lived since, coming back makes me remember how much I miss it. And that why the sadness and the tears.

So my boys asked me what was wrong and I said I always get sad leaving you, grandma and Richmond and that this time was particularly hard because grandma never once called me by my name. I don’t think she really knew who I was. She did tell me I was beautiful, amazing and she was soooo excited to see me.  But, like I said, she didn’t really know who I was.

I keep telling myself grandma is 91 and has dementia, but that does not offer a lot of comfort. I asked the boys which would be better: to be Ms. Mary (the elderly woman that I am a caregiver for in Wilmington), who knows her family and is grumpy and sometimes mean when they come for a visit, OR Grandma who doesn’t know who is coming to visit or for how long or what purpose, but is always so very happy? With grandma, everyone is her favorite … family, friends and strangers alike!

The boys immediately answered that it would be much better to be like grandma … to be happy is so much better!

Boy do they love her and her happy spirit, as do I. But, I grieve over her not remembering me and not knowing just how much of who I am and what I stand for is because of her.

About Tom Laughon

Tom Laughon (Pronounced Lawn) is President of Catch Your Limit, an organization whose sole purpose is to guide and grow leaders. His journey from lead singer in a rock-n-roll band, to a successful career in marketing & advertising to consultant, strategist, keynote speaker, facilitator, professor and writer is a fascinating one. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, Tom and his team guide organizations, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies to national associations, to "catch their limit" in areas such as leadership development, creativity, innovation, teaming and transformational change. His commitment to "practice what he preaches" has made Catch Your Limit a petri dish for round-the-clock discovery and learning. The firm's brand reflects Tom's personal brand: Fun, Inspirational, Strategic & Hot!

4 responses »

  1. What a beautiful email.
    I do believe it is better to have that loving, happy spirit than it is to know everything and have nothing in the world be right for that person, no matter what you do.


  2. Oh my sweet sis, I so feel your pain. I wish everday that Grandma truly remembered us and all those million good times we had. And oh how I yearn for her to know our little ones. She would be so proud of us. WOW, what an amazing woman she was and still is…just so different now. But her light is still shining so bright, and she indeed lights up when we walk in the room. I love you and look up to you like we looked up to Grandma. Thank you for that gift. Stay strong. XOs


  3. Beautiful and what a wonderful life lesson for those boys to know so early on.

    Tom, I’ve given you a blogging award .. please pop on over to find out more 🙂


  4. Lissi, your grandmother does have a light that shines bright and she shares that light with all of us every day at Circle Center. Hold the memories of her in your heart and enjoy the special light unique person that she has become.



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