Thinking of you all

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Nature, May 16, 2016.

  1. Nature

    Nature Active Member


    I just wanted to let you know my thoughts go to you all. I haven't had the time to post responses to offer my support to those whom have had struggles these past few weeks. I wanted to be there for YOU so please know I am thinking of you.

    Some of you are aware I'm helping my sister whom has stage 4 cancer and who lives in a remote location with a host of rescue animals. Last week she was hospitalized unexpectedly and I've had to stay at her home - no net access nor cell phone service for me. I'm pretty isolated when I'm up there.

    Today my son appears again in court (he's in custody) to set a date for trial. I don't think he'll get bail and his father refuses to pay for the lawyer any longer. I'm not sure what is going to happen and he's had no contact with anyone as he has no money on the books for calls. This part I'm grappling with as he won't contact me due to restraining order and all my monies have been going to pay my sisters bills as well as caring for my aged mom (who refuses to leave my sisters side.) Still, I wonder if no contact with anyone (re: son) is a tad harsh and have debated whether I should put a few dollars on his tab.

    Lastly, my other son whom has Aspergers and does reasonably well - with the same job for many years and his own paid for condo which he purchased on his own was suspended from work. This was for comments made to his new manager which he views as picking on him. My few weeks from hell as I'm awaiting my sisters prognosis- they fear the cancer has spread to her brain and are awaiting test results, my son's prison term, the possibility of my other son being fired, my mothers impending loss of her home due to my brothers hoarding issues. Sheesh! I thought things were tough before but never had so many things piled on me as all of the above but I'm still hanging in there.

    The other night sitting on my sisters porch on top of that mountain with all her animals around me , I look up at the sky and see a double rainbow!!!!
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  2. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hi Nature!

    Glad to see you posting!

    I am heading out in a moment, so will have to make this quick, but I just wanted to send my thoughts your way. I feel so bad for you and your family right now.

    How is your sister holding up?

    Your brother is hoarding in your mom's house? Geez, on top of everything else, there is that!

    Do you have a SO or anyone to lean on?
  3. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi Nature,
    Thanks for checking in. I am in admiration of you. You have so much going on and you handling it all well.
    I do hope you are able to squeeze in some time just for you.

    As for putting money on your sons account, I would first check with the jail to see if there's something he can do to earn some money. I know it might not be much but he should be putting forth some effort. If they do have something like this you could tell him you will match what he earns. Just a thought.

    I hope things work out for your other son. It's good he has a good work record.

    Keeping good thoughts for your sister!

  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Life has sure thrown you a lot to deal with.....I'm sorry it's so tough right now. As Tanya mentioned, you seem to be handling it well.....and I know it's still hard.

    I've gone through periods like what you've described......all I can say is, this too shall pass.

    Sending you warm hugs and prayers for your continued grace under extreme pressure.......hang in're not alone.....
  5. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    Thank you, Nature, for taking time to post. Your thoughts meant a lot to me today. I also am busy with matters and feel fragile and laying low, but checking in for support and just knowing you and others are there (we are all together in these trials) is so important and brings us back to focus. I haven't been too emotionally strong lately, but as I want to offer some strength of thoughts to you, I find your post helps me take strength from you.
    I've heard it said the meaning of a double rainbow symbolizes transformation and is a sign of good fortune in some cultures. I hold that visison for you and lift you for all you are going through at this moment. I will also keep that vision in my own heart for my personal situations also.
    Thank you. Bless. Take care, dear. Kalahou
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  6. PonyGirl65

    PonyGirl65 Active Member

    WE are all thinking of YOU too, Nature!

    PS - Don't put $$ on your son's account. He'll be okay with no contact for awhile. It's actually not the end of the world, I know it kinda feels like it is. Might do him some good if he has no one to vent to for a little bit.

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  7. Love never ends

    Love never ends New Member

    How kind to think of others when your in such a dark place yourself .. I really hope and pray that you find some peace for yourself as you really do deserve it xxx
  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Nature. I did not know. I am very sorry. I sent a prayer to her, to you and to your mother. I hope your sister is comfortable. It would be so important to me that you were nearby and my mother, too. I know it means everything to her. And her animals.
    Wow. Were you able to tell your sister? Does your mother have help when you are not there?

    Thank you so very much for checking in. I so value your posts. Please take care.

    I think I agree with Ponygirl to not worry about your son and to not leap to put money on his books. (You know I worked in prisons, and it looks like I might soon go back.) Let him sit there. That is my vote.

    A lot of men and women do a lot of changing awaiting trial, and in reception center when they arrive in prison. Let him stew.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Prayers for you to hold up and stay sane during so much chaos....
  10. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly Active Member

    Nature- wow, so much on your shoulders to carry right now. I am sorry about your sister and your Mother. Can you get contact Center for Senior and Aging, United Way for help with brother hoarding and your Mother's house? If involved in a church, perhaps you can get folks to help with the house, get it cleaned up, or legal advice to get help for Brother? Just some thoughts.

    I think you should just wait on funding son's account. He needs down-time, no contact, to sit and think about his life, what got him there at this point. No need to run out and fund right away. Give it some time, especially with all you have your plate now.

    Prayers for you son with Asperger's, I hope that he is able to keep his job. There are organizations out there that help folks with work and life issues for disabled persons.

    Prayers for you sweet lady'.
  11. Nature

    Nature Active Member

    Thank You! To each and all that took the time to post and offer words of support.

    My sister's brain scan turned out negative so that's positive news that cancer hasn't spread to her brain. I joked about it and told her "if I was asked I would have told the doctors you always think like that" and we both burst out laughing.

    My son's court date resulted being rescheduled for another 2 wks ( I receive calls from a Victim Assistance Program for updates). I didn't place monies on his books.

    I placed two of my sisters dogs in a kennel temporarily and brought the eldest one to the vet (they suspect the dog has cancer) and then brought her to my home. I haven't told my sister yet about her dog. I paid for the the dogs medical treatment. I also found someone to feed the other animals when I'm at work and unable to make the drive to and fro her place. I am returning to my sisters home this weekend to clean and perhaps paint if I have the energy and working hard it prevents me from thinking too much. I sleep because I'm exhausted. Hopefully, the house will be clean and nice should my sister be released from the hospital. I do have a partner and he's been supportive but unable to go up there with me as someone needs to be at home with our own animals. Unfortunately he's been called to work many times on weekends as I had to cut back on my own work hours and he's had to pick up hours. There are no other family members as he and I are the only ones. His family is in Europe and my core family only consist of my Mom, brother, sister and I as well as my two sons.

    Yes, my brother the hoarder who as a result of his obsession has caused my mother to lose the family home. He's had drug issues too since his youth and became a hoarder in his later years. I have tried for years to intervene but my mother always enabled my brother and refused help. Even when the city has sent in crews to clean up and billed my mother who lives on disability pension she allowed him to stay in her home. It breaks my heart. Currently my mother was staying at my sisters home as the bank pulled her reverse mortgage and asked for repayment which she is unable to do. The fire marshall cancelled the fire insurance. As a result my mom can't pay back the bank as she expected the bank to recall that loan when she passed and because of that she will lose her home. It's a huge mess. My sister is executor and is unable and was always unwilling to deal with my brother. When I've tried to intervene my mom saw it as meddling and would cause family strive. I also see my mom is ignoring those bills and is now concentrating on my sister and I'm worried about her own declining health. She is unable to really "help" my sister but at least they had each other for comfort. I was going there several times a week to prepare a weeks worth of meals, take care of her animals and clean the house. When I was cleaning her floors and lifted up one of the rugs I saw my mother had swept all the dirt underneath them. In her declining mental capacities she literally is " sweeping the dirt under the rugs". She is also in denial when it comes to her home and just like my sister is ignoring it.
    Perhaps this is one of the reasons why I "got it" when it came to enabling my own son as I saw what my own future held if I didn't stop enabling. I can't say I'm always 100% on this point as I backtrack and question myself at times but I do understand the dynamics now of the damage of enabling. I can only assist my mom now and offer her a place with me as I have in the past should something happen to my sister. I'm doing the best I can under the circumstances.

    My other son whom has Aspergers had a 2 hr meeting with his bosses and members of his union yesterday and was told they are going to make a decision in a few days. He has always refused to self advocate and absolutely refused to tell them he has Aspergers although they must suspect it? I couldn't convince him otherwise so it's now waiting a few more heart wrenching days of not knowing. I pray for a positive outcome. They asked him to take classes ( I suspect anger management?) on a condition which he agreed to but they still are going to decide if that is what they are going to do or fire him. He's never known any other job and has been with them for 16 years so I'm worried the effect it will have on him if it's not a positive outcome.

    But there's that double rainbow! I do think then perhaps it's a sign from somewhere informing me of new beginnings after a storm has passed. (PS thank you for posting that info my friend) Trying to stay positive in spite of all the turmoil. Thank you again everyone for your support and kind words.
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  12. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly Active Member

    Nature- wow, so much on your plate and you're a tower of strength for so many people. Do you think your sister would allow you to be the executor considering her health issues? Just a thought. As far as meeting with bosses and Union, I am leaning toward not firing if he has had 16 years with them- and usually before Union can fire, employer has to have had documented for years any issues. I pray this is the outcome for your son.

    Enabling our Adult children- yes, I am not always 100% on par- I have held firm, then relented with help off and on. I am getting better and stronger with time. I too second guess myself, it's so exhausting. The thing is- I don't think they second guess their decisions. They live for the moment every day, at least my son does.

    I read that life goes in 7 years cycles, 7 years of turmoil and then 7 years where life seems to settle down. I have seen that cycle in my own life so I do hope that rainbow is the entrance to the next 7 years of bring you some peace of heart and mind with all that you have going on in your life.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member are incredibly strong. Here is hoping that sister gets well and mom sees the light and you get a break. are a tower of strength.
  14. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Such a poignant and special time for you both, Nature.

    We never do know how the stories we live with those we love are going to unfold.

    That was such a hard decision to make.

    I'm so sorry this is happening.

    You are amazing me.

    It will feel so good to her to have everything clean and pretty and smelling nice, Nature.

    Do you think the scent of paint might make her nauseous?

    If you can find a can of the paint she initially used, you can just paint over the fingerprints. I used to do that all the time, when the kids were little.

    Thank you for sharing this part of your story with us. In the hurt of the moment, it is the easier thing to enable and just cope. It is hard to say no and feel like decent people. (It is for me.)

    I feel stronger or at least, validated, in my own decisions for having read about your brother and your mom.

    I am forever questioning the choices we made, once we understood about enabling. You are right, though. Even the seemingly kinder choice often has terrible consequences.


    I will pray for him, too.

    He must have been a valuable employee, for them to have kept him for all those years. I can understand why he would prefer to keep his disability from his employer.

    I am proud of him for that ~ for requiring himself to perform well in spite of whatever issue he must cope with.

    Probably, he got his strength and integrity from his mother.


  15. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    I'm sorry for all you are going through. Boy, when it rains, it pours.

    Can you send your son a card or a letter to let him know you are thinking of him?
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Nature. I am here with you, too.
  17. Nature

    Nature Active Member


    Again I thank each and every one of you for your words of support and kind thoughts. I also admit I was a little taken back as I don't see myself as coping that well with a lot of things that have come my way but currently as a result of 4 life altering incidents involving family I have to focus mainly on my sister at this time.

    Once again, I returned from having spent the last 4 days at her home. I did clean and start to paint, took care of her animals, and generally was feeling I was doing something productive when another crisis arose. For those of you that don't know my sister lives on that remote mountain property alone and takes care of numerous abused animals. A few weeks ago 2 large dogs appeared (Caine Corso's) and killed many of her animals . The owners begged her not to inform authorities and against her better judgement they promised not to ever allow those dogs to escape again and she didn't report it. I didn't agree with her but also having my own sanctuary I understood the turmoil she felt at not wanting any more deaths (should those dogs be euthanized) but told her those dogs should never be allowed to escape especially living in farm country and that other animals may be at risk. Ironically she has three large dogs of her own but were in her home at the time. One is a Pitbull who lives harmoniously with other animals and I too have one rescue that also lives with my host of smaller creatures. Each of us understand the bias of BSL (breed specific legislation). However, I couldn't convince her that these dogs were very dangerous as they killed all her sheep (which were her pets) with such wanton aggression they put all animals on that mountain at risk. I couldn't convince her otherwise.

    Sat morning her old dog whined to be let out (the younger ones were in a boarding kennel as my sister is still in the hospital) and as I had my hand on the door I saw through the glass - those dogs- attacking her Llama! Without thinking I raced out and I realize now how dangerous that situation was but I heard the LLama screaming and reacted. I roared, growled, picked up a big log and was swinging while the dogs were leaping at the LLama's throat. I realize I was not only trying to protect the Llama which I've gown very attached to but also my sister whose health had severely declined since the last incident. The larger male kept circling and leaping at the LLama while the female seemed to be intimated by my sounds. I threw the log at the dog and picked up a fence board and was swinging it. I do understand enough about animal behaviour as I use to educate the public long ago about dogs for the Humane Society. I know that people and animal aggression are two different things and these dogs were not people aggressive but were initially bred to take down large game. These dogs were not suitable at all to be in the owners hands in an area full of farm animals and allowed to get out. They had promised my sister they would build a fence to contain them. After aprox 15 mins (what seemed like an eternity) I realized with increasing fear that the male was becoming agitated by my presence to get at his target and I became very fearful and realized without cell phone and no one hearing my "roars" that I was in an very dangerous situation. It caused me to try to make myself as large as possible (I'm 5 ft tall and 100 pounds) holding the board above my head and growling as loud as I could and smacked the board on a fence post to make a large cracking sound. Screaming and pitiful sounds would have only allowed the dogs to view me as a lesser opponent I thought. It worked they started running towards the back field and one got out the way he came in through barbed wire fencing and unbelievable a wood fence as he got down on his belly and slid under. The female was panicking and unable to make her escape so I lifted the barbed wire to allow her to slip out cutting my hand in the process.

    Shaking from the incident I realized the other LLama has escaped as last had happened last time and I had to search for it in the 200 acres of remote woods behind my sisters property as well as her neighbors 60 acres. My sister lives on 5 acres but is surrounded by large acreages. I got in my car and drove down the mountain informing my sisters neighbor of the incident so she can spread the word amongst the farmers and drove back so I could search for the missing Llama - praying it wasn't injured. Even tho' they don't know me several neighbours showed up to offer assistance to rebuild her fence or search neighbouring properties for the Llama.

    I then realized with a chuckle I was still wearing my rather fashionable pj's - bright pink onesies with cats on it.

    I spent two days and over 12 hours in tall grass searching for the female while the male pined for his mate and even at nightfall did not go into the barn but stood with his head down in the pouring rain. The second day I prepared a further trek up the mountain and managed to find her and lead her down the mountain by shaking food. They reunited like something out of a Disney movie as when he saw her he let out a loud groan and they raced to each other with lots of lip smacking kissing on the lips!

    Forgive me for this long story which you might ask, "why is she telling this story on a parent forum?" The answer as it came to me that night was perhaps we have strength in ourselves which we never knew existed. If you had asked me previously if I were to confront two large dangerous animals I would have replied that I would not be able to. Nor track through the bush for hours determined to find a LLama as I'm a city girl. I also was able to laugh a little about the situation afterwards. Yet, I did and not to boast about it either. Yes, I now feel shivers when I think of the danger I placed myself in without thinking and perhaps I wasn't saving the LLama but I was also thinking of my sister and not wanting her to deal with it again in her state. I also realize that my haste placed me in extreme danger and was stupid. Still, after that incident I was able to evaluate the events that have developed recently with my sons, mom and brother and realized I will deal with those situations one at a time. My sister is my priority and next will be my son whose job is still in danger as his work hasn't made a decision yet. I will continue to offer my home to my mom but my son who is in jail is an adult and has made choices which got him there in the first place.My brother is also an adult who will have to fend for himself. I love them but if it weren't for the other incidents I would still continually be focused solely on my difficult youngest which wasn't healthy. I also need to be healthy and strong in order to deal with the other crisis. My sister doesn't have a choice and that is what is keeping me focused on helping her as much as I can. I finally "get" that Serenity prayer which I've read so many times over the years.
    Last edited: May 26, 2016
  18. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    Nature, I am just catching up with this thread and I find your stories very instructive and relevant to all that you are going through. I love your story about protecting the Llama and what it represents for you right now. I love that you prevailed!!!

    This morning I read Richard Rohr's meditation for today. It seems particularly relevant to your story and I find it always relevant to my own story. Feel free to disregard the references to is still relevant in terms of a Higher Power's wish and plan for each of us. It is this letting go of our base need to control life and other people that I believe is at the heart of having a life full of joy, contentment, peace and serenity, especially in the second half of our lives where many of us are today. This is the pathway to peace. I love that right now, your focus must be on your mother. That makes all other issues side issues which is a very positive thing for you, I believe. They will work themselves out in some fashion without your engagement. They always do. This is something new I had to learn. Warm hugs today. I hope you find the meditation relevant to you as well.

    You Are Not in Control
    Thursday, May 26, 2016

    To be in control of one's destiny, health, career, or finances seems to be an unquestionable cultural value. On a practical level it may be partially true, but not on the bigger level. Our bodies, our souls, and especially our failures, teach us this as we get older. We are clearly not in control. This is not a negative discovery, but a thrilling discovery of divine providence; being led, used, and guided; having an inner purpose and a sense of personal vocation; and owning one's destiny as a gift from God. Learning that you are not in control situates you correctly in the universe. You know you are being guided, and your reliance on that guidance is precisely what allows your journey to happen. What freedom and peace this can bring!

    But I must warn you: initially this new empowerment will feel like a loss of power, almost a step backward. You will now need a deepening of faith to go forward. The Twelve Step programs have come to the same counterintuitive insight. You must get through that most difficult first step of admitting that you are powerless before you can find your true power. As Gerald May, one of my own teachers, so rightly said, willfulness must become willingness in the world of Spirit:

    Willingness implies a surrendering of one's self-separateness, an entering-into, an immersion in the deepest processes of life itself. It is a realization that one already is a part of some ultimate cosmic process and it is a commitment to participation in that process. In contrast, willfulness is a setting of oneself apart from the fundamental essence of life in an attempt to master, direct, control, or otherwise manipulate existence. More simply, willingness is saying yes to the mystery of being alive in each moment. Willfulness is saying no, or perhaps more commonly, "Yes, but. . . ." [1]

    The needed virtues in the first half of life are quite rightly about self-control; in the second half they are about giving up control. That is a major switch and why I wrote the book Falling Upward. Initiation rites attempted to give a young man the essential life messages early, even before he was fully ready to hear them. Such rites universally tried to prepare a young man for what I call the great defeat, the necessary recognition that you are not really running the show, and any attempt to run it will ruin it. The intense self-will of the autonomous ego must eventually be disillusioned with itself.

    Having control is a major desire and need in the early years of life, yet many hold on to it until their last breath. Try practicing to release control early; it will make your second half of life much happier. Practice in small ways, such as contemplative prayer itself, which is habitually "consenting to God's presence and action within," as Thomas Keating puts it. Gradually you will be ready for greater surrenders to grace, until you are finally ready for the big letting-go called death.

    Powerlessness was often taught by subjecting the young seeker to periods of extended silence and solitude, usually accompanied by fasting--experiments in surrender, under-stimulation, and nonperformance--so one could plug into another and deeper Source. This normally had to be done in nature, so the young man could participate in something inherently greater than himself. The young man was also trained in very practical ways--shocking to us--by various forms of trial, communal life, and hierarchy. Somehow he had to practice not always getting his own way. The lesson was too central and crucial to wait for his marriage and children, failing health, or deathbed to teach him.

    Surrendering to the divine Flow is not about giving up, giving in, capitulating, becoming a puppet, being naïve, being irresponsible, or stopping all planning and thinking. Surrender is about a peaceful inner opening that keeps the conduit of living water flowing. It is a quiet willingness to trust that you really are a beloved son or a beloved daughter, which allows God to be your Father and Mother. It really is that simple, which for the human ego is very hard.
  19. Nature

    Nature Active Member

    Dear Childofmine,

    Thank you so much for that inspirational message. I'm lucky you chose to respond and offer your support and took the time to reach out to me.

    While I had religious training as a child I had always claimed as an adult I was more spiritual than religious. Yet, your post got me thinking.... Just last week I assisted a young man who had to decipher the Tale of the Prodigal Son for a English 12 assignment and compare/contrast with a modern story called , The Charmer. It's part of the grade 12 curriculum for the course in our school district. I've helped numerous at-risk students over the years with this particular assignment and like the students who always claimed it was "unfair" or I understood how the older brother felt as he after all had had been the one who basically was the good son and felt the father honoured the wayward son and not him. I realize I am condensing it so much but you understand the context of the story. I never "got it" until I decided to research the net for additional information and I realized there are three parables which I hadn't seen before and not two. Specifically, the one of the older son which I always related to as, although I'm the youngest in my family ,I felt my mother always focused all her attention/money on my other two siblings throughout my life. It's why I always related to the older son. I always thought that perhaps my mom did this as I was able to cope quite well unlike my siblings. Now I question that perhaps I thought myself better than them. It's humbling to admit that perhaps part of me felt like that.

    Before I read this story again and understood the true meaning and when my sister was diagnosed I realized I had to "let go" of the resentment I had felt previously. I'm glad I did as I hadn't realized that it prevented me from having the bond I had with my sister when we were younger. Anyhow, thinking out loud here but I see how regardless of how old we are we continue to change, question and above all learn forgiveness. It took my sisters illness to make me realize how much I love her and I'm glad should something happen I had a chance to change. That will give me peace. Thanks so much for your comments ChildofMine it came at just the right time.
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