A place for all of us to brainstorm and share on ways to plan and prepare for a medical emergency. No one likes to think about this, but when something happens, being prepared allows you to focus on what's important - getting you or your loved one well!
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My mother passed close to seven years ago and through her death, our family fell apart. I have not spoken with a sister of mine for five, or is it six years, and thought perhaps we never would speak again. She cut me off completely. I remember calling her at least five years ago and asking her to come visit us. Actually, I had my daughter call her and ask her to come out, figuring she couldn't say no to that darling little voice, but she did. After reaching out several other times, I gave up. It was too painful to try to keep that relationship alive.
You ask what made this relationship fall apart so badly? It boiled down to both of us acting incredibly poorly when my mother became ill and passed in a short five months. I will take half the blame, but you cannot tango alone, as the saying goes. Fractured families are very common with those of us who are unprepared for a medical emergency.
This last weekend, another one of my sisters, Sandy, came to visit for the first time since my mother passed. It was wonderful to have her here and we had a blast. I'm so thankful she finally got up the courage to come back to where there were such painful memories. We did not talk about how long it had been or why she had always said no when I invited her to visit us: We just enjoyed being sisters. And she got to be part of my family's celebration of my youngest daughter's official debut as the leading lady, Josephine, in "HMS Pinafore." (I'll post the video of Journey's solo in the next week or so.)
Another highlight of the weekend is that I spoke with my other sister who had cut me out of her life for so many years. Sandy was talking with her on the phone and Sandy said "Here, you tell her," and she handed me the phone, while my other sister proceeded to stroll down memory lane with a story from our past. I handed the phone back to Sandy and started to choke up. My eyes filled with tears and I thought I was going to break down right then and there (we were in the Denver airport, so I was trying hard to keep it together!). I told my sister that I wished she were there with us and she said she would come out and visit us.
What made her change? I'm not sure. Perhaps she realized that life is too short without every single loved one being in your life. She is getting older (btw, I'm the young, beautiful one now...) and perhaps her defenses are becoming weaker. I think I'm at the stage of my maturity where I don't care what is making her change. I am willing to get out there and risk my heart again.
Mother, if you are watching, I'm sure you are letting out a long-held breathe. A breathe you held for the last seven years while our family healed itself from losing you.