Saturday, September 24, 2011

Family Feud

No, not the game show.

I believe that if you don’t want to do something, then sit there and don’t do it; but don’t expect people to hand you a corn beef sandwich, wash your socks and unzip your fly for you.
Shel Silverstein

God, I love that!

And I love the man about whom I'm going to complain bitterly…
my baby brother (now in his mid 50’s).

I come from a family that is deeply flawed – insert gasp here!

My mother was a less than perfect parent – another gasp -

I’ll give you a moment to collect yourself …

As far as I can tell, this makes her about the same as the rest of flawed humanity.

No one parents like they think they will.
No one can predict what life is going to dish out.
We all do the best we can.

But if 'love' is the greatest imperative we’ve been given, then, as adults, we have to find a way to reconcile our wounds and our feelings about who inflicted them.

My brother hasn’t seen our mother in over 7 years - so please excuse my skepticism about his protestations that he ‘loves' her.

Sorry, but flowers on birthdays and a book at Christmas don’t mean jack;
they’re no substitute for 'presence'.

If you refuse to have a relationship with her, then sit there and don’t have one.
But, at least, be honest about it.

Don’t expect me to make you feel better about what you're doing - and NOT doing.

You’re not the only one frightened of the genetic component that seems to go along with Alzheimer’s.
You're not the only one who feels "conflicted" and confused.
You’re not the only one who has significant professional and personal demands on their time.
You’re not the only one who would rather be doing a million other things instead of watching her die a slow death, in small increments.

I love you but I’m stepping out of my role as the ‘big sister/ protector’ and saying, as lovingly as I can…

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