Hazard to myself

sandra

This Winter has been hard, as I have a hard time asking for help.  I was raised to figure things out on my own, and to find a way to get things done despite any roadblocks.

One of my biggest challenges this Winter in dealing with my mortality is to find a way to heal the rift with my Baby Sis.

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I don’t know that it’s possible, because I wouldn’t have changed anything I’ve done in life,  and I’m trying to respect the boundaries her anger is putting between us.

I lost the bid to fix my Baby Brother’s grave.  I gave it my best shot, having asked for professional help in 2013 and being assured that I had a sound argument.  However, that effort was merely sending good money after bad in terms of dealing with a crappy lawyer who did something different than what she was hired to do, and agreed to do, and who then backed off when it came time to go to court.  I have to live with that.  I also have to live with the fact that I chose not to leave it to my Baby Sis to handle, causing yet more hurt.

However, in fighting that battle as I promised our Mom, I seem to have crossed an unfixable bridge with my Baby Sis.  I’ve called and left a few voicemails, but it’s nothing but crickets.  I want to respect the boundaries she’s drawn, so I am backing off.  She has a right to tell me to get out of her life.  While I would think that I am out of her life being 3,000 miles away and given her previous complaints about abandonment, I guess I just wasn’t far enough gone.

Believe me, I “get” crazy.

Yayah

If anyone out there has seen, “The Ya-ya Sisterhood”, I know both my Sis and I are damaged from our childhoods dealing with a functionally alcoholic father, a depressed mother, and (my Sis’s words) a goody 2-shoes sister who was supposed to die at any breath of cold air.  So, I get it when it’s all just too much.

There is a scene in the movie where Sandra’s character is slamming the phone against the counter, demanding to know why she has to deal with her mother and the madness, and I understand that on some level that’s what I represent to my Baby Sis.

She’s never seen me as her biggest fan or advocate because I moved to CA and “abandoned” her (her words).  While I’ve tried hard to meet her half way in a manner that works for both of us, I’ve done nothing but hurt her because of our differing viewpoints.  My “no”s were too much for our relationship to survive, apparently:

– No, I could not be her Maid of Honor.  (I don’t believe in marriage, nor religion).

– No, I could not be her eldest son’s God parent.  (Again, I couldn’t promise to raise her son in the church).

– No, I could not shift my responsibility for Jimmy’s grave to her shoulders.  It wasn’t her burden.  It wasn’t her unfinished business.

Simple denials.

Straightforward.

But, continued cracks in the foundation of our relationship as we always seem to be at cross purposes.

So, while I would like to involve her in my life’s final arrangements, I cannot do so because of many factors – one of which being that she fights the reality of death being a part of life.  Plus the fact that this is a long distance relationship and the related hassles of managing those affairs.  And, finally, because the responsibility needs to go to the next generation – her eldest son – as he promised long ago to help me, and it will be easier on everyone if she doesn’t handle my final wishes.  She already has enough on her plate.

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So, not having received any acknowledgement about #2 nephew’s pending nuptials, and getting nothing but silence from my fellow POW from our family’s private little battle, I’ve moved on to make everything as clean as possible for final details so that I’m not leaving a mess for anyone else to clean up.

The Roomie will be listed as my #1 Executor, and she will be given a copy of all the paperwork.  There will be a certificate of deposit created with the Roomie as the beneficiary, and she’ll be able to get her hands on the 3+ months of forecasted necessary funds to handle my affairs the minute she produces a death certificate.

I’ve paid for all of the foreseeable arrangements in advance, and the will is being drawn up with the healthcare directive and power of attorney set to allow the Roomie to handle everything unless she chooses not to do so.

Thereafter, if the roomie refuses to handle everything, or dies before me (not likely), things will devolve to my eldest nephew as my Executor.

I know it will break my Baby Sis’s heart to not be in charge, and cause yet another rift between us, but the reality is that she can’t handle it and I’m trying to be kind and not burden her with that level of work.  Especially when she’s not talking to me.

And, I’m trying to protect my eldest nephew by making him alternate Executor # 2 so that he doesn’t have to fight with his Mom, should I pass away as expected while everyone else is still around and able to handle these details.

I can’t see any other way out of all of this, so I’ve cast my decisions to the wind to let the hurts fall where they may in the hope that there will be little collateral damage.

My sop to my Sis’s emotions is to make her #3 as Executor on the paperwork, able to take over only if the Roomie and the Nephew refuse to fulfill the role.  That’s the best I can do, and I’ll live with the consequences of continuing to work at what seems to be cross purposes.  It’s the best I can do to find a compromise for reality for us both.

4 thoughts on “Hazard to myself

  1. This will sound perhaps sappy, but oh well. I’m prone to sappiness. Give it time. I know for you that’s a very valuable commodity, and if things go south faster than anticipated, it’s cold comfort for those left behind, but really? It’s up to HER to get over the anger and pain and have a relationship with you. Or not as she chooses. Hurts a lot? Yep. But in the past I had a similar kerfluffle with my youngest sibling, and for two years we didn’t speak, write, text or acknowledge each other (his choice)…and then one day he started talking to me again. I asked him if things were okay with us, and he said “as good as they are going to get” which means he’s distant and we don’t have the quality of family (as such) that we did before we came to cross purposes, but at least there’s communication and a bit of healing on both our sides. We both had to get over ourselves too.

    In your case I have no idea what happened aside from what I’ve read, and I’m biased in your favor obviously. Also in 2013 I lost a friendship with someone I’d known for the previous 7 years and who was one of my few ‘besties’. We had an argument and she is of the school of thought of “fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice, shame on YOU and you no longer exist”. And I pissed her off one too many times I guess. Well shock and surprise I was in the ‘city’ on Tuesday (Weds?) and she came up, said hello and how are you and it was like all was forgiven. I guess it was and is.

    Time. It heals everything. And I hope for your sister that she doesn’t let it go until it’s too late. She’ll have a bigger burden to carry if she does.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s what I worry about – that she will have a bigger burden to carry. She owes me nothing. I have nothing to forgive. We all have to manage our own boundaries, and I know that she finds my love a burden vs. a blessing.

    Meanwhile, your friendship with the bestie. Will you pick up where you left off, or will this passing meeting in the city be it for you? Inquiring minds want to know if there’s any way to resurrect that relationship in a healthy way for you both.

    And, as always, thank you for being biased in my favor. That’s more of a blessing than you will ever know.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah, but her cutting you out seems to be painful? Maybe I’m imposing my own scenario over yours..

    As to the bestie, we’ll see. She is one of the most negative people I’ve ever met, which is one reason I didn’t work harder to heal the rift when it happened. But the other day she seemed happy and calm and positive, she is moving from a long standing situation into a new one and maybe that’s affected things. I’m not sure where things will go. I’ll give it space and see.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My Baby Sis is my last remaining relative of my original family. I realize that Daddy Dearest is still out there, but he’s unhealthy to me for continuing that association. We’re polite when we have to be (2011, during my brother’s passing and funeral), but otherwise avoid each other like the plague.

    I guess I now represent the plague to Baby Sis, and am lamenting something that I need to find a way to let go. As the song says, “I can’t make you love me…” and it’s very true.

    Meanwhile, I hear you about cutting negative people out of your life. I can understand giving the situation space to see what develops next. Even if you two can’t be friends, I hope she’s on a good path for herself to be a happier person. That’s all we can hope for anyone struggling to find the joy in life.

    Like

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