Stormy Weather of Life

A couple of days ago, storms were brewing with excessive heat. Today, the weather is calm with cool breezes and sunshine.

Reminds me of life.

In the last few weeks, since my brother told me to ‘fuck off’, I have realized the many ways my feelings about him and my sister have been validated. I admit it has been EXTREMELY hard to accept the ones I believed I could depend on are not the ones who have been there. And continue not to be there.

Then, this morning, I was going through the missed calls log on my home phone. I found one from my sister’s number from May 30. I panicked then a tinge of concern rolled in then my senses took over as I realized there was no message left.

Hard as it is to admit, I still care for both my siblings. However the reality is and has been for years, a very one sided relationship. The words from my eldest constantly echo in my ears, “they’ve been like that for years, why do you think they would change now?”

I know my perceptions and expectations of what a family is should not cloud a relationship with my siblings. Yet the words of my sister friend, whom I have had several heart to heart conversations with, also echos, “we have a sense of what family is.” She also reminds me, on a daily basis, even though I voice I am through with any and all dealings with my siblings, the turmoil of accepting what is and what I desire is still boiling right below the surface.

Yes it is my choice to care for my mom. Yes in doing so I am putting my life on hold. Maybe I should be selfish. Maybe I should put myself first. Maybe I should date and go on vacations for a month and state how busy I am or how tired I am from working long hours or how I don’t have time.

Reality? I can’t. That’s not to say I don’t take time for myself. I do. But I am not the kind of person who believes in letting those people I love to drown in the sorrows of life. It’s not a payback because they have been there for me when I wasn’t able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I feel it is a natural thing that is done because that is what family members do.

Thankfully, I have never been alone in any part of whatever journey my life has been on. And God has put people in my life to help guide, support and love me not only through the storms but also through the sunshine.

I don’t know if the relationship with my siblings will ever mend. As time goes on the door keeps getting closer to being shut. I do know I am not alone. For that I am grateful.

Going forward I hope to reconcile with the anger and resentment I feel towards my siblings and replace them with the love I have been honored with from my family of friends. I also hope to fully accept the situation so I can continue to provide my mom with the loving care she deserves. The process is slow, to be sure. But I know if I follow my dad’s advice in taking one day at a time, everything will work out in the end. Time heals all hearts but sometimes having the right people in your life at the right time does so much more.

Blessings,

annie

 

Dear Kathy Griffin,

I usually keep my feelings to myself regarding media hype. However, since I can’t get away from your story, as everyone and their grandmother is talking about it, I am going to voice some words of advice.

  1. Instead of forever whining, take responsibility by apologizing then shut your mouth and let the hype blow over.
  2. For now, yes, your career is momentarily over. But, in 3 months, no one will remember, let alone care, what you did. So do yourself a favor, pack a suitcase, book a flight and go someplace where no one knows you so you can relax and figure out out to put this incident behind you and start over.
  3. Next, time you decide to pull a “funny” stunt, gather a group of your closest friends and try it at first to see their reactions. Or, at the very least, think about the repercussions your actions could have.

And one last thing….quit playing the blame game. You are a smart woman. However you have only yourself to blame for ruining your life. If there is a lesson to be had from all of this, may you learn it so well, it is never forgotten.

 

 

Cleaning House

Surrendering to what is loosens the burdens of what we believe should be, allowing us to discard baggage comprising of blame, fret, worry, and complaint.

Thus, peace, gratitude and acceptance can freely live within our hearts, our souls, our minds and our spirits.

And instead of being weighed down, we can finally soar into the person we were always meant to be.

DST

Yep, today’s the day, if you live in certain parts of the U.S., to turn the clocks forward one hour.

So, essentially, we lose an hour to gain about 7 months of days with longer amounts of light and hopefully sun.

When All is Said and Done

Listening to the radio, on the way home from visiting my mom in rehab, I heard the following

Will I be able to live with myself?

Throughout my caregiver journey I have vented, been angry, experienced resentment, read books to help me along the way and received lots of advice.

But when all is said and done, I have made the choice to provide care. Not out of guilt, nor to pay it forward or out of obligation. I choose to give care because when I look in the mirror I know I am doing what my heart believes is right.

Most importantly, I can live with myself with no guilt or regret. And that would be worse than choosing to put my needs and wants in the forefront, all the time, when I know my mom needs a helping hand, a shoulder to lean on and someone to care and love her the rest of her days.

Yes, the choice I have made is not the easy one. However when all is said and done I will have gained more than a vacation or being busy. I will have gained peace of mind and memories to fill my days when death befriends my mom.

Blessings,

Annie

Early Morning Ponderings

It’s 4:25 a.m. and I’ve been awake since 3:00 a.m. pondering why I feel the need to take care of others before myself.

In the case of my mom, I believe I have stepped up out of obligation. In the case of my kids I do it because God forbid if they struggle, fall flat on their face and learn skills to get back up and survive. In the case of my friends, I’m an easy target because I listen, I encourage and I guide them through obstacles they are facing.

Yet, in the end, l don’t come ¬†close to treating myself the same way, with the same respect or wisdom or encouragement.

I find it interesting and quite disheartening, my mom doesn’t appear bothered by the little regard my siblings have for her welfare. She’s constantly relaying to me how busy they are working, where they are traveling and how they’re getting along in their personal lives. It’s totally wearing on me because I have made a choice to be burdened with taking care if her. Yes, finally I have admitted it is and has become burdensome. Which is why I have chosen, right or wrong, to back down from visiting every day to twice a week. In doing so, I have had to work through some guilt because when I told my mom of my decision I was no longer going to be able to come every day to her rehab, she commented ‘I’m getting good care.’ Which gave me a sense of relief until she said, ‘I know you have your life to live.’ And she’s right.

I am angry my siblings continue on living and help out my mom when it’s convenient and doesn’t interfere with their personal going-ons. I’m at the point where I am no longer going to be able to keep my opinions to myself. However, the disregard my siblings have displayed seems to not have affected my mom. After all, the time they choose to spend with my mom isn’t and shouldn’t be an issue between myself and my siblings as I have made it. It is something between my mom and them. And it hasn’t seemed to affect their relationship at all. Matter of fact, they are probably all still sleeping and I’m the dumb ass for even letting the situation get under my skin and cause me to fret over it!! I can’t change the behavior of others. I can only change myself.

For now, I am learning to live without guilt and appreciating the week of normalcy I gifted myself. It’s been a long time coming. I believe it’s time to continue being selfish in order to make peace with my anger, realize I have nothing to feel guilty about and to keep my spirit from fading.

This is my time. I definitely need to take care of myself like I do others. That doesn’t mean I stop caring, just not so much. Because if I am drowning by gifting myself to the extreme then I will be no good. I have to learn to save myself first then the hand I extend will be a bit stronger, given because I want to help not because I feel obligated and the love I’ve given to myself will be allowed to flow freely and unconditionally.

Blessings, Annie