Archive for September, 2015
What is it about being siblings that can turn even middle-aged reasonable adults into screaming, fighting, competitive children? I can think of a few things, but in today’s post the winning answer is a parent’s will. I will further add the parental decision to make one child the executor of their estate. If you really want to mess with your children’s heads then you should by all means pick one of them to handle your affairs. That way the other child, or children as the case may be can immediately revert to their childhood deep-seated insecurities reliving the indignant horrors of how you were never regarded in the same favoring light that your sibling seemed to live within.
Since my friend fell off her newly installed stripper pole she has been unable to drive, so yesterday she asked me to not only drive her to her sister’s home, but to remain there as moral support. Her husband is out-of-town, and each of her siblings would be there with their spouses. Now I’m a realistic kind of gal so my head is screaming bad idea, but my mouth was saying okay. She has had a tough couple of months which included the death of her mother. Plus her sister can be quite the little drama queen even on one of her better days so we knew today she would be in exceptionally rare form since my friend’s mother had named my friend as the executor of her estate.
My friend is the 3rd child (the baby), her sister is the oldest, and their brother is the middle child. The oldest sister is the financially well off, and quite use to running the show. The brother is a gruff retired military man who I don’t think I have ever seen without a drink in hand, except for mom’s funeral. My friend is a published writer, quite the little spit fire most of time, but lately her spark has been a bit subdued. A formidable bunch to be sure, and their mother was a complete down home girl who grew up on the family farm. I happened to adore her, but to be fair she wasn’t my mother.
Back in the day mom was quite the party gal who had married an alcoholic, and their relationship dominated the family spotlight. I think all of the kids felt like extras on the set, rather than the cherished little stars of their family show. So each child naturally comes with all the insecurities of being raised in a home where mom, and dad’s marital issues/drinking took center stage on a daily basis.
So when we walked into the house both big sister, and brother were quite pissed over the baby being placed in charge. The accusations started to fly the moment we sat down. I watched as my friend calmly as she sat looking everyone over. She sat there quietly as the two older siblings ranted over every detail of their mother’s carefully thought out will. Keep in mind all three children had financially supported their mother equally in her last decades of life. She did not possess a large estate, even her home had been equally owned, and paid for by her three children. So the points of contention were over her personal possessions, things that had been passed down generation after generation.
They were fighting over things that were a familiar part of their erratic childhood. It was almost as if each item held some piece of their own self-identity. A kind of symbol of their personal value in their mother’s existence. They accused my friend of manipulating their mother into giving her items that they said their mother wanted them to have. My friend sat there silently as they raved, and ranted. Then she cleared her throat stood up, looked both siblings in the face, and said take it all. Divide it up however you want, I really don’t care.” Then she asked me to hand her two carefully wrapped packages. One for each of her siblings. She had me place one in front of each of them, and then we left.
As I drove her home she barely said two words. Then she turned, and smiled at me. I finally had to ask her what was in the two beautifully wrapped packages she had given each of her siblings. She had given them each a framed copy of their mother’s hand written will with a small note in it with her hand written words that said ” Take it all, with all my love. Mom’s favorite.” 😉
Marriage can be difficult even in it’s best moments. We are capable of incredible damage with just one slip of the tongue. The moment when your otherwise harmless organ turns into a razor-sharp blade with the ability to make a cut so deep that even the most skilled plastic surgeon would be unable to hide the scar left behind. I remember the moment when four little words brought me to my knees. Simple words, that suddenly had the power to emotionally cut me in half. “You don’t like me.”
It was, and to this very day is the worst thing my husband has ever said to me! What made it so horribly painful was the fact that he actually believed what he had said. The man who had been my best friend through every single event in my life for over thirty years was standing before me believing that I no longer liked him.
I know what your thinking. Oh big damn deal some of you have heard name calling, fuck yous, I hate you, I cheated on you, and a lot of other horrible things that on the surface seem like much worse things to say. I get all of that, but the very idea that I had somehow given my husband even the slightest notion that I didn’t like him was deeply painful to me. It had never even crossed my mind that this thought would be something anyone could convince him of, under any circumstance, least of all me.
Somewhere along the way something I had said, or done had cut him so deeply that he harbored this thought. My mind was spinning. How could he believe something so awful? Why didn’t he say something until that moment? God, how long has he been thinking this way? Most importantly how could I have not picked up on something so big between us? In my mind I guess I felt exempt from this kind of miscommunication between us. It was a huge wake up call. A reminder that I had been complacent. That I had taken him for granted,assuming that I knew how he felt, and that he knew how I felt.
Relationships are not self-sustaining states of being. They are ever-changing, living organisms that require you to be present. They need attention, and maintenance to survive. If we are really smart about our relationships we will do way better than just trying to survive. We will put in the wiser goal of thriving. 😉
We are all born with certain talents, unique gifts that not only enhance our own personal journeys, but impact other souls as they travel along their’s. I have been nicknamed “The Alzheimer’s Whisperer.” I’m not exactly sure how this talent came into existence, but I am sure that the Universe has decided that it should be a part of my journey. My talent extends equally to babies/ children, and a wide range of people who might be categorized as uniquely misunderstood, but for this post we will stay focused with those souls who have Alzheimer’s.
Although I have always loved the very old, and the very young, my work interests have always leaned towards the medical field. I have worked with one of this countries finest retinal surgeons. The problem with this line of work is that you have to work with doctors. Don’t get me wrong I have the utmost respect for doctors, but working with them presents a number of issues that simply held very little satisfaction for my inner self. I made a much better salary, but it left my inner self destitute.
I have a love/hate relationship with this side of myself. I have the ability to live a much more lucrative lifestyle, but I’m only happy when I am doing what I love best. I have chosen to follow my heart over my bank account. Luckily I have married a man who seems to find this completely lovable. So I am a self-employed personal assistant who finds herself being hired over, and over again by a particular type of client (those with a very demanding employment), who seem to be in need of someone with my ability to organize while dealing with the more difficult loved ones in their lives.
G-uno to my fellow bloggers, but “The Alzheimer’s Whisperer” to many of my clients. Alzheimer’s is a brutal disease that forces people to lose their loved one’s twice in one life time. My gift is my ability to understand them once they have reached the point of being unable to convey their wishes for themselves. My gift to my clients is my ability to get their loved ones to cooperate in ways that lesson the enormous stress their inabilities place on their loved ones both physically but more importantly emotionally.
I can not explain to you how I understand my client’s wishes/needs, but I can tell you that within a half hour I am able to bring them great relief. I am also able to get them to do tasks they have been unable to do for years, or months prior to our meeting. I have a front row seat to being able to bring joy, and relief to both my clients, and those who are suffering. I am lucky because I wake up every day to the possibility of being able to bring great joy, and comfort to those who whisper in a way that only some can hear. 😉
She was the first in every way, from the moment they laid her warm 8 pound 6 ounce body onto my chest. Heart to heart, my world would never be the same. She didn’t even cry. She held up her little head looking around the room as if she were surveying it’s worth. The doctor, and everyone else in the room shared the same look of awe at her incredible strength. I am to this day amazed that she only scored a 9 instead of a 10 on her APGAR rating, because she did not enter the world screaming like a banshee. If I think about it, she entered the world pretty much the same way she enters a room now. She silently walks in with her head held high, and her beautiful chocolate-colored eyes surveying everything around her.
She is petite in stature, but large in her presence. Her “Helen of Troy” beauty lures you in, but her total command of the room makes you want to stay. She’s engaging, smart, direct, and her sense of humor is fueled by her unyielding desire to see your ability to withstand her way of magnifying your most hidden human characteristics. She can be extremely driven, and has very little tolerance for those who disregard her need for personal space, for uncleanliness, and disorder. She has zero tolerance for disloyalty, and I think this stems from the fact that she is quite possibly one of the most loyal people on the planet.
She sees the world from a more grown up point of view than I do. Even though she is to grown now to lay across my heart she is forever entwined in it’s every beat. We can talk for hours about everything, and nothing at all. I can count on her to tell me the truth when none else can. She sees me in a way that no one else can see me. Her very existence makes my life better. That’s the thing about daughters… 😉