Wishes And Fears

(274)

Laying under a blanket tent with my grandson, reacting to a book designed to ignite our imagination, we dreamed up stories.  Page after page, we played along.

“What if we were bigger than the tallest building?”

“What if we could get as small as a mouse?”

What would we do?  How would we like it?.  Then a page prompt was:

“What if you could have anything?  What would you wish for?”

And this 6 year old boy says, “I’d wish that no one ever had to die.”

I kept my eyes on the page of the book.  I didn’t what him to see my reaction to his innocent words.  He’s 6 years old!  Shouldn’t he have wished for all the LEGO sets in the  world or maybe being able to read without working so hard at it?

No.  He’s already thinking about that number one wish we all carry around with us when we are old enough to understand that death is part of life.  To my knowledge, he has yet to experience a funeral or even a terminally ill person.  So, how is it that he is carrying this burden already?

It’s that unexplainable gut feeling – FEAR!

For this little boy, the idea of losing a hockey game is traumatic!  It never dawned on me that he may be carrying around a whole host of fears.

Wishes and Fears

The past three months, in our family, have been filled with dreams and wishes: Santa Claus lists, and birthday candles. It’s a magical few months for us. And for the children, we want them to believe that wishes really do come true.

But at some point, in our lives, the magic of wishes dissolves into an acceptance of reality.  Not all wishes do come true.  Is it that realization that leads to FEAR?  Or is it the opposite?  What if I never have the chance?  “What if I never” replaces “I’m want to have”.

My grandson sat along a gym wall, recently, afraid of not being the best at a game he had never played.  His understanding of not being the best was paralyzing him.  FEAR is grabbing a hold.

When do wishes become fears?  When we let them.  What he doesn’t understand is that he is letting fear decide that he’s not good enough to be allowed that wish.

A Lesson

As we go through life, we are given multiple opportunities to experience something new. Our wishes evolve as we grow but the reality is that every time I am faced with a new challenge, I become like my grandson.  I sit along the wall watching others be their best, believing that I can not compete. And what have I done?   I have maybe let a WISH die.

“I wish no one ever had to die.”

It’s days later, but I think if I had the chance to respond to my grandson’s wish, I would say something like this:

Dying happens every time we let FEAR stop us from living.  We’ve been given a life.  And this life is filled with wishes and dreams.  It’s up to us to go after them.  Day by day, we are given choices.  We need to live each day and…

We will live

and live

and live some more

every time we show FEAR the door.

 

Too Dependent

275 – The Lecture Continues

Today is day 275 of my milestone countdown.  Each day I draw two cards from a deck of Animal Spirit Guide Messages.  Today’s was a different animal but the message seems to continue to be about my life being out of balance.  Here’s today’s message:

“The polarities of your spiritual pursuits and physical pleasures are out of balance.  Bring them back to equilibrium.”

The animal pictured is the Cardinal.  Usually I love seeing a Cardinal because I think of a loved one who has passed. But this message makes me think that I am not serious enough about the guidance I’m being given.

Listen To Yourself

That’s the thing about these cards and their messages.  You go with what pops into your mind as you read the card.  This card indicates that I am too focused on either Spiritualism or Materialism.  And I immediately think it must be Materialism.  Yet, as I ponder that thought more, I’m confused because I spend very little on anything other than home repairs and gifts for my grandchildren.  My clothes are old and understated, actually drab and boring, but they work fine for taking care of toddlers. So it can’t be that I am too materialistic. That leaves being too Spiritual.

Maybe I am expecting too much guidance from the Spiritual world.  Perhaps reaching out to these cards everyday is too much.  This journal writing has been fun but being guided by the cards everyday limits my own creativity.  If I want to be a “writer”, I can’t depend on a Spirit Guide to be my muse everyday.

The Second Message

So the second card says:

“Face your problems head-on with confidence and courage and you will emerge victorious.”

Is that true?  Will I find a path to writing that pleases me?  My past problem has always been with making my writing seem worthy.  Why would anyone want to read what I write?  The ghost of my past enters saying “Who do you think you are?  You are nothing special.”  And it’s at this point that I lay the pen down and close the notebook..

I Am Not Worthy

But this second card seems to be saying that I need to face that ghost head-on.  I need to prove to myself that I can write something that others will want to read.  I need to believe in myself.

So for a while, the Spirit Messages will be set aside.  The countdown continues because with or without guidance, time marches on.  So, I am going to try write simply from my heart tomorrow.  We’ll see what I have to say.

 

 

You’re Too Enmeshed In The Situation

276 – Not Again!

Ok, the countdown continues.  For those who are following, I have a milestone birthday happening this year and I’m celebrating each day by pulling two cards from a deck of Messages From Your Animal Spirit Guide.  This has actually been also a way for me to reconnect with my writing, something I have dabbled in here and there for the past years.

I’ve been gone from here for a few days while I practiced “Shapeshifting”with my daughters and four grandchildren.  I was somewhat successful in finding moments to blend into the background but it wasn’t easy for me and now I get this message again!

“You’re too enmeshed in this situation.  Step back.  See the bigger picture.”

And the second message continued the lecture with…

“Take time to rest and recuperate rather than continue your striving.”

Ok, ok! So apparently I still need to back up further.  I’m still not seeing the bigger picture!

What Do You Put On Your Business Card After Retirement?

You know when a person retires from a lifetime career, there is this fear of not knowing who you are anymore.  All my working years, I was referred to as “Teacher”, “Principal”, and then finally “Director of Instruction”.

Then it ended.  I left the titles behind.  Kind of like “Prince” Harry.

So, at that moment, I wondered, “What will people call me now?”  How would I describe myself on my business card?  And it simply became “Hi, I’m their mother.” or “I’m their Grandma.”

I have a friend who actually had business cards printed up after she retired and she gave herself the title of “Artist”.  She’d never been an artist before.  Now she is apparently. She dabbles in all kinds of art now.

So, what do I want to be now?  Does my business card say “Grandma”? Is that why I keep getting this message that I’m too enmeshed in the situation?  And, if so, what am I to do to fix it?  If I printed new business cards, I think I would like my title to be “Writer”.

Rest.  Recuperate

The second card tells me what to do though first.  Take time to rest and recuperate. Stop striving.

Am I striving? Did/do I want to be a Super Grandma?  Maybe. I guess I’ve always wanted to be something to someone.  I never really thought about just doing something for me.

This past weekend, I “shapeshifted” till I couldn’t twist anymore.  I stepped in and out of involved “Grandma”.  And you know, no one complained.  No one felt bad or wondered where I had gone.  So maybe I need to treat my title “Grandma” as a part-time job, not meant to be round the clock, seven days a week. That is what “too enmeshed” is trying to tell me.

It’s time to not feel guilty when my daughters ask, “What are you doing tomorrow?” and I  say,

“Nothing.”

Practice “Shapeshifting”

Day 281

This is a countdown, for me, to a milestone birthday.  My intent is to move towards this event with a sense of determination and power. So I am challenging myself to writing each day but more than that to guiding my writing with messages.  These messages are being derived from Spirit Message Cards.  Each day, I shuffle the cards and pull two.  The cards make a simple statement.  If I need further explanation, one is provided in a small guide book.  Today’s needed a bit more explanation for me.

Today’s Messages:

“Practice shapeshifting by altering your physical appearance and mannerisms.”

The Spirit Animal connected with this message is the Octopus.  That better explains what it means to “shapeshift” don’t you think?  No?  Ok then I’ll read into it a bit more.

It seems it really is about altering your appearance, especially focusing on body language and voice qualities.  It says that with practice I will become skilled at modifying my aura.

Now, there it got me!  I love the whole notion of paying attention to your energy field. I just never actually thought about it this way.  But why practice taking on different personas? That was explained too.  It suggested studying the behavior of animals.  Their superpower is their ability to adapt to different situations. This is about adapting.

Ok, so how can I practice “shapeshifting”?  Well, as luck would have it, this weekend might be the perfect opportunity.  I won’t be writing for a few days, actually, but when I return I’ll share my experience and the countdown will continue.

Today, I join my daughter and two grandchildren for a journey, by car, to the airport in Chicago; a two and a half hour drive with two littles will be my first shapeshift test.  I will practice the art of distraction by storytelling, joyfully singing Baby Shark over and over again and probably reaching dangerously over seats to replace dropped books, toys, and snacks.  Don’t worry, I’m not the driver! But let’s hope I don’t pull a muscle!  And then, we’ll be spending the night at a hotel where I’ll get to practice sleeping with two littles in the same strange place.  That ought to test every last nerve.

Tomorrow, I’ll get the opportunity to practice my calm  breathing while we maneuver the littles through airport lines and sitting patiently in our seats while we pretend to be birds flying through the sky.

When we land, my persona will change yet again.  Our destination takes us to the home of my other daughter and there will, then, be four excited children and two sisters who haven’t been face to face in months.  So my energy field will stay focused on watching children interact without causing physical harm so my daughters have a chance to relax a bit.

Now, here is where card #2 comes in:

“Make a stand for what you believe in and do what feels right in spite of any judgement or disapproval.”

Whenever my two daughters are together, they tend to gang up on me.  Now, mind you we have a great relationship separately but, when together, I catch glimpses of mockery, chastisement and eye rolling. I am being judged!  Probably they talk about me all the time between themselves but when we’re together, I have to practice shapeshifting into a bit of a guarded wall.

Now, though, because of this message coming at this time, I will watch for those occurrences and actually take a stand.  That will likely be a shapeshift they won’t expect but it will be a great one for me to practice.

This countdown, it seems, is becoming all about taking a stand.

I like it!

Music Is Essential To Your Well Being

Day 282

Read ” You’re Tougher Than You Think” for the background.

Each day I pull two cards from my Spirit Messages.  For those who have been following this journey, you know this is a countdown for me and the cards are my daily guide.

So today’s messages are:

“Music is essential to your well being.  Sing, play an instrument, listen.”

and

“You’re too fragmented.  Do what it takes to get grounded.”

Does the second one sound familiar?  Yes, it was yesterday’s message too.  It’s like, ok ok! I didn’t get myself grounded enough yesterday? I mean, give me a break, it was just one day!

But then I think, wait a minute.  This message is guiding me.  Use music to get grounded.  I get this completely.  There has always been something about music that soothes my soul.  While I’ve never been able to concentrate long enough to learn to play, I have always loved to sing and listen.

When my brothers died, I found myself going to their music to feel close to them. And sometimes, when I was hunting for their favorite artists I’d stumble onto another song that seemed like a message was being sent directly from above with words that explained their parting exactly.

“Angel” by Sarah McLachlan was that song for my brother, Chris.

“Spend all your time waiting for that second chance, for that break that would make it ok. There’s always some reason to feel not good enough. And it’s hard at the end of the day.”

The words in this song felt like a blanket being wrapped around my brother.  His life had been such a series of wandering mishaps.  And, like my last brother, he found momentary peace in substance abuse.

“Spend all your time waiting…”

This is my reason, now, for doing this thing that I’m doing.  I’ve spent my life flirting around the edges of writing and never feeling good enough.  This blog is grounding me.  It’s providing a renewed focus.  I actual find myself energized, each morning, wondering what it will be that I’ll write.

And now there’s this message that says let music guide you.  So what music speaks to me? I know that I frequently turn to music because it helps me feel all the feelings that I want at the moment.  The lyrics have often been my guide.

So, I just stopped writing for a minute and put on the album that I’ve recently been listening to: the vinyl version by The Byrds.  And the song that I want to hear right now is “Turn, Turn, Turn.”

To everything, turn, turn, turn.  There is a season, turn, turn, turn. And a time for every purpose under heaven.

This song transports me back to my high school/college days.  But listening to it now, I listen with different ears. I listen with a different understanding. The message has changed. Or maybe, I am hearing a message now whereas when I was younger, I just enjoyed the rhythm, paying little attention to the words. And, now, I listen to what the lyrics mean to me, not what the artist had intended.  In this moment, this song was written just for me.

It’s my turn now.

The album continues to play and there is another song that transports me back to my youth.  But, just look at the words now!

Mr. Tambourine Man.

“Hey Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me.  I’m not sleepy and there ain’t no place I’m going to.  Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me.  In the jingle jangle morning, I’ll come following you.”

Take me on a trip upon your magic swirling ship.  All my senses have been stripped and my hands can’t feel to grip. And my toes to numb to step, wait only for my boot heels to be wandering.  I’m ready to go anywhere.  I’m ready for to fade, into my own parade, cast your dancing shoes my way.  I promise to go under it.

Music Grounds Me

And so there it is.  These messages connected me to the place that has always been there for me.

“I’m ready for to fade into my own parade.”

 

There’s Something Out Of Balance

Day 283

Read “You’re Tougher Than You Think” for the background.

Spirit Card Messages for today:

“There’s something out of balance in your life.  Correct it.”

and

“You’re too fragmented.  Get grounded”

Every day, I pick two cards.  Today, I feel as though the second one explains the first one. After reading the first one, I instantly thought about the fact that I had not yet scheduled my flu shot!  Well, I did schedule and then I cancelled it because something came up with my grandchildren.  And then, I cancelled my dentist appointment because of a similar issue.  Now, I’m going to tell you that it takes basically nothing to get me to cancel these appointments.  I’m not a fan of either.

But, that’s not really the message today.  The message is that my life is out of balance because I am too fragmented.

Fragmented?  How can that be?  I have my routines:

  • Morning coffee while I check for new Facebook posts.
  • Second cup while I play a little Toy Blast on my IPad.
  • Then it’s time to review the news.  This takes longer these days because I have to figure out if what I’m reading is fake or not.
  • That usually takes me into internet searches which sometimes leads me to Amazon to see if there are any deals today on Prime.  One day, that lead me to buying a room air purifier hoping that would take care of my itchy eye situation.
  • And then, there’s Pinterest where I can definitely see my fragmentation.  Pins come up that deal with all things I’ve previously shown an interest in:  soup recipes, making pots out of concrete, refinishing old furniture, and toddler craft projects.

Fragmented?  Not me!

So How Does One Become Un-fragmented In Today’s World?

I actually just told my sister, last week, that I feel as though the older I get the faster days fly by.  And, at the end of the day, I look back and can’t actually say that I did anything big or important.  In fact, my daughter will ask “What are you doing today?” and I reply “I have an appointment to get my hair cut.”  and she responds, “You can only do one thing a day?”

No.  Yes.  I don’t know.  It just seems as though the other things that fill the day aren’t worth mentioning; you know, like detailing the scheduled IPad time.

But there was one day that I actually made a list of things that needed to be accomplished; that one day where I could actually say that I was not fragmented.  I had listed 8 things that needed to be worked on.  Then I gave each thing one hour of my time.  By the end of the day, some things were actually done.  I’d set a timer!  One hour per task. It was actually fun.

This Year’s Challenge

I proved to myself that I could fill my day with meaningful tasks, so can I do it for more than a day?

The first step is to probably figure out what it is that I want to accomplish, not just today, but maybe this week, this month, this year.

If I am to put balance back into my life, it would need a plan.  I’ve been retired for more than 8 years and I have yet to settle on a plan for what I want to accomplish.  I’ve let other people or situations lead me down whatever path.  I don’t want to reach the end of my journey only to be asked “What did you do with your time?” and end up with the answer being “I don’t know.”

See The Big Picture

Day 284

Read “You’re Tougher Than You Think”  for the background.

Today’s Spirit Card Message

“You’re too enmeshed in this situation.  Step back.  See the bigger picture.”

When I read this, my first thought was “Am I being selfish?  Writing about my countdown to my milestone birthday?”  For a moment, I felt guilt wash over me.   In no way have I ever thought that “I” was the most important thing in this world.  I have known people like that.  They’re not easy to be around.  And yet, my daily countdown IS mine; but I don’t want this to be about ME.  If I step back and look at the big picture what I see is everyone.  We are all in this life together and we all face the same countdown.

“You’re Not That Special”

It’s funny, you know, because throughout my life, I have been told in one way or another that I am not that special. And now what springs to mind with that thought is the fact that I seriously have spent my life doing for others; enmeshed in their needs.  It’s hard, really hard, for me to even envision putting myself first.  I can remember only once saying, “I want to go on a vacation and here is where I want to go.”  Even then, that vacation was taken over by others and fully planned.  I always let that happen.  I want more than anything for others to be happy. Their happiness is my calm, my peace.

Reread This Message

“You’re too enmeshed in this situation.  Step back. See the bigger picture.”

So maybe this message isn’t about thinking too much about myself but maybe thinking too much about others. No one is going to take care of my needs except me.  No one knows what I want or desire unless I tell them.  No one can be blamed if I don’t speak up.

Our Life Is A Gift

I am here.  That is the gift I was given. So if I have been given this gift and all I do is parse it out to others, I only have me to blame.

“Step Back.  Look At The Bigger Picture”

When I initially stepped back and looked at my big picture, remember I said that it was full of everyone.  I was not the center of my big picture. In fact, I might not have even been in the picture.

So, my message for today is:

I need to put myself in the bigger picture.

This Is A Good Time For A New Adventure

Day 285

Read “You Are Tougher Than You Think” for the background.

I pull two Spirit cards today.   Card one reads:

“This is a good time for a new adventure.”

Well, I did just buy a new suitcase yesterday but what really constitutes “adventure”?  While I am traveling this weekend, this trip is not a new venture for me. So, this year, I think that a new adventure might have to be something like trying a new food or forcing myself to sign up for a group fitness class.  But nowadays, I can make a new adventure out of downloading a new app and playing with it for awhile.

Then the second card reads:

“Face your problems head on with confidence and courage and you will emerge victorious.”

Well this is a good card for this year.  Although having a birthday is not a problem, getting older is!  Every year of life has it’s passages.  My grandchildren remind me of those developmental milestones that seem to miraculously happen with just the passage of time. And over the years, I remember looking forward to that first double digit birthday, or the year I could be officially called a teenager.  Then came the legal right to drive or to drink or to vote.  I met each of these adventures with so much anticipation and joy.  With the passage of time, it seemed there was always something to look forward to: graduating, getting married, having children, job advancement.

Now with the passage of time, I don’t look too far forward.  I have occurrences that keep my focus grounded in the present.  Call them problems, maybe.  Like, for instance, my eyes are giving me problems making it hard to drive in direct sunlight or at night.  Then out of nowhere, I acquire a bump on the top of my foot making it hard to wear nice shoes.  You know, things like that.

So every day is a new adventure with a new problem.

Not all adventures are health related though.  There was this furnace adventure this past month that took my checkbook by surprise at Christmas time.

Wait a minute, there’s another adventure!  

Who uses paper checks anymore?  So, here’s the story.  I needed money to pay for the furnace, right?  So, with the help of my financial planner, we decide to pull some money from an annuity.  (Permissible due to my age).  But they couldn’t provide the money because my address was different from their’s .  Now that things have gone paperless,  who thinks to update addresses?  I had been receiving statements all along.  Then they also needed a voided check!  Yes, I do have checks but I’ve moved at least three times with my same box of checks so they have yet another address!  And then both things had to be sent via USPS, with a stamp!  I mean I had provided all the other paper work by uploading it but for some reason these two things could not be scanned.  They had to come snail trail.

Still, I met the problem head on and I did emerge victorious.  My furnace will be paid for and now small monthly draws from this annuity will also help fund my health card deductible account.

Adventures and problems have taken on a whole new meaning this year.  What, oh what will tomorrow bring?

You Are Tougher Than You Think

Persistence

Like the waterfall, life is ever changing and in constant motion.

I find myself facing a milestone birthday.  I’ve long ago stopped feeling a desire to celebrate this date.  Yet, I am thankful to be here.  So, I want to do something that will keep me focused on the positive.  I contemplated recording daily gratitudes but although I have so much to be grateful for I want to do something more. I want to give myself daily messages of affirmation,  And, I will record them here to keep me accountable.

Now, I can’t just dream up a positive message on my own so I will be guided by my Spirit Message cards.  They will provide the daily message. I’ve decided on a number and will shuffle the deck each day and simply count to that number and flip the card and read the message.  I will decide how it is meant to be MY message for the day.  There are 286 days until this milestone birthday so this gives me ample time to fill myself with confidence and acceptance that no matter how old I get, I am grateful for every single day I’m given.

So here begins Day number 286.

“You’re A Lot Tougher Than You Think”

How many moments in our life do we feel weak, inadequate, confused, even frozen?  Last night, I had a dream.  I was scrambling to set up a simple presentation for someone I admire and I couldn’t get a grip.  I struggled to even collect my thoughts.  I woke up thankful it was just a dream.  But, seriously, I know that I have been through this scenario many times in my life.  So when I shook off the dream state and actually took a breath and thought about it I found reassurance.  I know, from years of experience, that I have always found my way to the other side of these debilitating situations. And, I come out of it feeling like I conquered the world.

How Exactly Do I Do That?

How is it that I am able to take a seemingly disastrous moment and somehow make it work?

There were times, even now, that I let opportunities pass me by.  I make excuses that are really only covering up my fear. When I face that fear and I realize that I have control over it.  Me!  No one else. And so I dig deep down into my gut and I pull out that thing called Bravery.  I am braver than I think.  Perhaps, that’s my toughness!

I Do Go After What I Want

When I think about it now, I realize that when I want something, really want something, I dig down into that spot. When I’m concerned that it might not be right for me, I step slowly, cautiously but try to keep stepping forward. Then, if there is an obstacle that I can’t correct, I accept that as a sign that this was not meant to be.  The hardest thing for me is to not create obstacles.  I need to keep my focus on moving forward.

Don’t Let Others Choose Your Path

Sometimes, especially as I’ve gotten older, I feel weak; physically weaker than I want to feel.  I had one person tell me that I just needed to accept the fact that I’m getting older and I should slow down, sit back, enjoy that cup of coffee.

To me, these are fighting words!  I don’t want to slow down.  I don’t want to sit back.  And I can enjoy my coffee while I move. So, I will get myself to the gym.  I will go for walks.  I will lift weights.  And I will eat healthier. Thank you very much.

I Can Already Feel The Power Of This

What a great way to begin each day and to build myself up as I countdown to this birthday.  I am going to celebrate it every day for the next 286 days.

 

Like the waterfall:  Always moving.  Never the same.

 

 

I Had Three Brothers

IMG_8545

Reflecting on The Importance of a Life

In a world filled with billions of people, one human being can be basically insignificant.  Insignificant except to those who crossed paths with that human.  For each of us, the importance of what we leave behind are the lessons shared.  What is most intriguing is that the lessons my brothers shared with me are my personal lessons.  Others who knew them learned other things. That all by itself is fascinating when you think about it.  Perceptions are what makes us all so unique.

I feel an incredible need to share my perceptions of my brothers’ lessons to me, maybe as closure but also maybe to acknowledge that their lives were important.  Every person is significant to someone.

David

From my oldest brother, who was six years older than me, I learned the value of honor.  It was during his life with me, that I had opportunity to study and to decide what role honor (respect) would play in my life, which traditions were important to uphold, and how to understand and respect the rule of law.   Something, though, in his interactions with me also made me feel that I had the right to form my own judgement about some things. With him, I learned the difference between “Everybody does it this way, so this is way we do it” and “You’re smart.  You can decide.”

There were times, though, when he opposed my decisions and tried to push harder on his lessons of tradition, loyalty and vows.  Sometimes, I’d listen.  Sometimes, I wouldn’t.  I’d successfully learned the value of my ability to choose.

But from him, I also learned responsibility.   He wasn’t given the choice to take over the reigns of our dad when he passed so young.  To him, there was only one decision.  He had to step into daddy’s place.  Over the years, now too many to count, I have found myself stepping in to  help, feeling that I truly don’t have a choice.  But of course I know now, that is my choice. Am I always responsible?  When I choose to be.

Jerry

He was 18 months older than me.  We grew up together. We were babies together though I don’t remember much of that; just stories I’ve heard! I was not the good baby.

We were little kids together.  He would be the first to teach me bad habits.  We played with matches and of course I was the one to start the house of fire.  We once took a whole pack of cigarettes to the woods to smoke.  We didn’t come home until they were gone.  Wonder what we smelled like.

We were teenagers together.  These were hard years for me. He taught me some things that I would spend the rest of my life studying…the power of ridicule and teasing.  He was often critical of how I looked and dressed during those awkward years.   And, I think his power over me set my earliest feelings of resentment towards traditional  gender roles. He enjoyed, a bit too much, using his power to insist that his shirts be ironed (does anybody do this anymore?) And not only ironed but ironed a specific way.  He never had to cook or clean and because he wasn’t the oldest, he didn’t need to take on the father role like David did.  He had a pretty duty free life actually. Then the draft ended and he didn’t even need to serve in the military like his brother had done.

Then we were adults together, though apart.  We didn’t see life through the same eyes. But when he survived a massive heart attach, I learned loyalty. I did the best I could to stay by his side, carrying out our traditional gender roles. It’s what he knew and understood best. I also learned about fear and judgement.  He’d share stories of why some, maybe most, of his choices had been driven by fear. I know there were many times that I assumed I understood and was critical.  I did not understand.  As time went on, his fears grew out of control and that turned into anger and hatred.  These two emotions allow a brain to turn a blind eye to truth and reality.  And when it takes over total control, it spews out in insults and attacks on people he needs and loves. The lesson from anger and hatred?  Watch out! It will swallow you up.

Chris

He was two years younger than me.  I was then the big sister who needed to show him the ropes, so to speak. Now I am going to say that I was not very good at this job.  which is maybe why one of the lessons I’d learn from him was independence. For a long long time, he went his own way. Still it was from this brother that I learned the deepest lessons about guilt.  Guilt is one of those emotions, like anger, hatred and fear that can consume a person.  And so, I would spend years weighing the choices – should I or shouldn’t I help? Am I helping enough?  Am I helping too much?  He was fiercely independent…he needed help…he was independent…he needed help.  Finally guilt won, to a degree.  For a few years, I would find a way to help and not question his need for independence. It was a compromise for both of us. And in the end, fate would intervene and his independence would be taken from him.  It’s when you witness a person losing their spirit that I think I finally learned unconditional love.  He was thankful that I was there.  He trusted that I loved him. And I knew that no matter what, he had always loved me too.

I Had Three Brothers

Their lives though, to most, insignificant.  But they were more than significant to me.  We were siblings and not always friends. And yet, I can say that I am who I am today because of each of them. Everyone in our lives is a teacher and it is with deep and humble gratitude that I thank them for being three of the best teachers in my life.  I will not forget the lessons.  I will never forget their lives.

In Memory and With Love

David – 11/28/1944 – 3/18/1998                                                                                                               Jerry – 07/21/1948 – 11/16/2019                                                                                                        Chris – 12/25/1952 – 3/25/2013