The way to love someone
is to lightly run your finger over that person's soul
until you find a crack,
and then gently pour your love into that crack.
~Keith Miller

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

was/is (venting - you may want to skip this one!)

...and one panda
Yesterday ... shopping with my 15 year old - V, aka Five.
Today ... shopping with my 20  year old - C, aka Four.

And baking a couple of those (I hope they will be) cute cakes.

We are trying to get tickets to see the new Star Wars movie at one of those swanky theaters (meaning, I think, they serve cocktails).  It's my husband's idea.  (I think it's a great idea ...and I think the drinks will be crazy expensive ... I am the DD for this type outing) As it stands now, tickets are a week out if we want a decent seat (and they are assigned)!

I know I should be reflecting on Advent. 

Hope Love Peace Joy
What I do find myself struggling a bit with is wishing "things" could be better between my deceased brother's wife and me.  
I think I understand "it" a bit better than I did, but it's one of those things that needs time has to soften and blur the rough edges of.  I think it was hard for her to make room for me as a care giver to him.  She didn't like that he wanted me with him as much as he did.  Our closeness annoyed her even as she needed the help.  He needed the help ... his battle was intense.  Another major factor was she is the sort of person who usually finds herself the center of everything she is involved  in.  The cancer was pretty much about him.  I think she found the sidelines a difficult position to be in because life hasn't given her many opportunities to be there.  I heard him tell her several times that as "sucky" as the experience of CANCER is for her, that in fact, she is (was) not the one dying here.  Tommy could be a bit of a diva himself and ... CANCER did demand a main character in that "story of our lives together".  It did suck.  It still does.
I believe she thinks I was "mean" to her because I was unable to feel sorry enough for her as soon as she thought it should be her turn for attention.  I just didn't have the capacity at the time.  I wanted, truthfully, I expected, her to put her time in the "this really sucks for you" place on hold until after he died.  She did pretty good at managing that until he became mostly unconscious.  I needed her to wait just a bit longer, or go to someone else for the "loving" but she was unable to.  I really don't judge her for that.  I feel that it was unfortunate.  I also wish she had been able to extend a bit of compassion towards me rather then just expecting me to absorb/soothe whatever she felt she needed during a time that was very difficult for both of us.  It's also probably that she just never really liked me anyway - we had very little in common, maybe even only (our different relationships) with him.  I was happy for them to be together and a strong advocate for their relationship.
It's on my mind (too) so much now because ... this is the time, a year later.  He asked me to go out on Christmas day and find some things, some happy things, that we could do together this year ... this week.  I did that. C helped me do that and I'm pretty sure our family will make that a Christmas tradition - we would include her.
I have reached out to her several times this year.  Mostly she snubs me.  Once she did begin to enthusiastically text about the various ways Tommy is "manifesting" his continued presence.  It didn't bother me, it is just how she is.  We believe differently and I do respect her right to that.  
This year I have realized that she made things more difficult for me all the time, every time, last year.  
I think God "places" people in our lives for His own reasons.  Once I recognize that a person is in my life I make every effort to let them be in my life. Even if the relationship we share is difficult, I try to participate fully, I try to make it easy for my people to be at home with me. There are people who I would choose for myself all by myself.  I think I feel guilty about her because although I don't dislike her, I would not have chosen her to be in my life ... and I am relieved that I have no continuing obligation to honor a relationship that is dysfunctional.  
Does that make sense?  I feel guilty for hoping to be "off the hook".  I wonder if I get to choose to move away from that relationship.  Maybe people who divorce have a knack for ... dismissing.  My husband says I don't have to continue to reach out to her.  He says every time I do it leaves an open wound on me and doesn't seem to do any good for her.
She didn't have her own people around her helping much during the time of his CANCER.  I have no reason to believe that has changed ... that's why it's heavy on my heart.

I'm doing a guided seasonal meditation on Hope Love Peace Joy but ... it is not at my center as I wish it to be.  I am stuck in the mire of unresolved grief.  Not grief for my brother.  I'd like to be "working" through that more as I would naturally be. I'm just stuck on what I'm supposed to do about her.  The other (wakeful) night I thought this residual pain, or grief, is like a cancer in that something unseen is acting in me and it's not for my good.  I check myself to see how I can get past these feelings.  Is there something I can do?  "Throwing her away" is how it seems to me - it seems very unkind. There does not seem to be anything I can do.  
I have to accept the fact that there is no chance of a "better" past or future.  It was/is what it was/is.  

"Sincere forgiveness isn't colored with expectations that the other person apologize or change.  Don't worry whether of not they finally understand you. Love them and release them.  Life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time - just like it does for you and me." ~ Sara Paddison 


gretchenjoanna said...

Okay, I'll offer my two cents, not knowing either of you, based only on what you have written here. If you have already been the one to reach out to her more than once, you have tried to love her even if you don't like her, yes, I would "release" her. Pray for her, and be ready to be kind if she comes to you. Maybe pray for someone else to befriend her and help her.

I have someone that is too draining on me emotionally that I have had to keep at arm's length in the last months because I just do. not. have. the emotional strength to be a good friend right now, and they don't have the eyes to see how dysfunctional they are or the wisdom to know how to be friends to me in my grief.

Thank God I haven't had anyone in my life lately who is as selfish and problematic as this person sounds. When the scripture says, "As much as lies with you, be at peace with all men," it conveys that it is not possible for us to make good relationships happen. Some of the work and responsibility lies with the other party, and if they can't or won't do their part, well, you have the situation you're in, and that's the reality of life. So be at peace with yourself. xoxo

DeAnn said...

Thank you for your thoughtful comment GJ - I appreciate the insights and value your friendship. One of my "blog friends" in South Africa has introduced me to a broader understanding of SHALOM. I love that you pointed to the scripture supporting peace with all men (including I imagine one's self).

Merry Christmas Gretchen Joanna! May the season bring you an extra scoop of "gladness"!