Role Reversal

November 29, 2021

In this blog article I’m going to address the stage in life where the kids are taking care of the parents to the extent where the line of who is the parent and who is the child becomes blurred. This is a subject that is hitting close to home at the moment as I move further along the path of caring for my aging mother, now pushing beyond 94 years old.

I never had children of my own although I was married for a considerable number of years. As my marriage was always rocky, I didn’t want to bring a child into the world under a disadvantaged situation right from the start. I know that some people think that a baby will solve marital issues but I wasn’t of that mind. Anyway, that’s a subject for a different day. As life would have it, I seemed to have taken care of other people’s children along my life’s path. For several years, I had my ex-husband’s niece and nephew living with us when we first got married. They were teenagers, so I had the rebellion stage with which to attend. Then, later, I had the kids of my friends that I’d baby sit, so I became familiar with 5-10 year olds. I once taught school for middle kids so I had to learn what made them tick. In the end, I never had to feed, clothe, and shelter my own children. But the universe had a way of teaching me what this would have been like in a very surprising way, at least for me.

My parents moved out west closer to my brother as my father came down with Alzheimer’s disease. He passed in 2007 with my mother caring for him until the last day. Then she had to fend for herself with my brother looking in on her periodically. As the years went by, I travelled to her condo in Southern California to visit for a few days first yearly, then multiple times per year, then every 3 months. It may not seem like a lot but there was the week of preparation to leave my own home and my cat at the time, the actual trip and then the catching up afterwards. It was about a month of time for me dedicated to the one trip. My family never saw it that way. For them, it was just the few days I was out there. But when I was with my mother, it was 24/7. They would come over to my Mom’s place, bring some food, like bagels and feel like they had done their job. When I visited, I cooked, sometimes cleaned and took her places. I began to feel that I was really taking care of her. Then there were times that she wasn’t well during my visits when I had to take her to the doctor. A few times I had to take her in for an elective procedure – like her cataract surgery. During other times, she had illnesses like bronchitis or swollen legs wherein I had to take her to the doctor. Meanwhile, my doctor brother was at home oblivious to what I was handling for my mother. He never accepted that I was really helping him take care of her. Again, the universe had a strange twist of fate.

My brother, yes the same one that was a doctor, came down with cancer. He valiantly fought it for close to eight years, but in the end it took him down. Probably his poor eating habits, exercising very little and maintaining a very stressful practice as well as his private life didn’t help any either. His children and wife all had huge expectations of the lifestyle they wanted to lead and he was the breadwinner and played that role until his last day. He refused to stop working until he was totally incapacitated. In other words, retirement was not in his vocabulary. Well, rather unexpectedly, again  from my perspective, my younger brother who lived close to my mother died.

I was next in line to care for my aging mother. I quickly went out to California and began the role of primary caregiver for her, except it wasn’t a visit now, it was full time. To the surprise of the rest of the family (his wife and kids) I began to live there just returning home long enough to take care of my own home. This went on for 10 months with me doing all the activities of daily living for my mother; this included making her healthy meals, shopping to make sure food was in the house, maintaining the cleanliness of the condo to my standards (which included steaming the floors twice weekly for example), doing the laundry twice weekly and running her to all her appointment regardless of whether they were for doctors or to get her nails done. There’s a reason that people don’t have children at 70 years old. Being responsible for another person at this age is seriously tiring. I was more than tired. I was exhausted. Multiply what I was doing at her house with flying home and in a couple weeks, catching up at my house and then flying back to start all over again.

As time went on, my mother’s condition began to decline making it necessary to have outside support for just a few hours daily when I went away. After several trips and the world coming out of the pandemic, I decided that it was best to move my mother closer to me in Virginia. Understanding how stressed I was and that I was not going to fly back and forth forever, she agreed to move. Then I had to find a really nice place for her, pack her things, move her and then unpack her. Is this so different than a child leaving home and the parent helping them to move?

Although my Mom loved the place I chose and everyone quickly learned her name, her health took a turn for the worse within a few months. She had several falls, landed in the hospital for 4 days and the following month went on oxygen. Apparently all the years of smoking finally caught up with her. Well at 94.5 years old one can’t say that it shortened her life by much. She’s very lucky that my father made her stop smoking about 30 years ago. Unfortunately, she did gain about 30 pounds which she’s since lost over time with great difficulty. Currently, other medical problems are popping up. I still feel that for a woman that’s almost 95 years old, she’s led a fairly healthy life up to now with only a few medical blimps on the screen. Watching her decline in mental health is disheartening to say the least. Day by day she’s loosing cognitive ability to the extent that someone needs to watch her in the afternoon. There are activities were people come in during the morning hours and again at night so this is the main time for care coverage.

So just like a young child, that one must watch, make sure they brush their teeth, change their underwear, put on their glasses, go to the doctor and stay out of trouble, I’m watching and helping my mother. I get snacks for her in kid’s sizes, even giving her the twist off top yogurts that she really likes. She loves peanut butter and jelly on crackers, bananas and simple food. She’s eating more complicated food like salad less and less. I cut up her meat for her, but she’s eating about half of a portion these days. I open snack packs of nuts/raisins into a little bowl and she likes that. She sits in her recliner chair and closes her eyes most of the day.

Recently I bought an Amazon Echo Dot speaker where I can say, “Alexa, play Frank Sinatra for one hour”. She seems to really enjoy listening to her era of music and it appears to be very calming for her. I’m learning how to use this little device to provide wake up notices and alerts to go to the door to get her breakfast at a certain time as she can easily forget that it’s been delivered.

So now you have it- Food, clothing and shelter are now my responsibilities and all things in between. When her hearing aid gets lost I have to figure out how to get another one. I buy her new clothes and a new coat as it’s much colder here than where she came from. She still likes to sit in the sun on the front porch but there are few days when it’s warm enough for her as we approach December in Virginia.

As I leave my Mom after each visit, I wonder how much longer she has to live. Each day brings us closer to the last day. The thought tears at my heart every time I leave. I’ve also learned that as a caregiver, I can get lost in what I have to do for her, so I try to squeeze in some exercise and outside activities. All of this is not so different that a parent taking care of a child.

If this isn’t role reversal, what is? Everyone that lives long enough watches their parents’ age.  It’s just really hard when it’s your turn. Comments are always welcome.


Fine line between love and hate

June 10, 2021

Have you ever noticed how fine the line is between love and hate? People can be married for many years and suddenly get divorced hating each other. Normally, one assumes there is love when people marry. So how does the transition to hate occur? There are many answers to this question. In this blog article I will tackle a few of them including: a sudden incident, a gradual loss of connection, and finally, it was a mistake in the first place.

Let’s take the first cause of sudden disinterest in a marriage or relationship. (Perhaps one party changes with age, or there could be a situation that brings out extreme anger, rage or signs of abuse exciting fear on the other partner. Inappropriate intimacies with others can excite betrayal. Such strong emotions are very difficult to overcome and even if excused, often cause love to turn sour…and also, to hate.

Love Hate Computer Keys Shows Emotion Anger And Conflict

Taking a step back for the moment, it’s important to understand what emotions come from the second, third and fourth chakras. Fear (2nd chakra) and love (4th chakra) are opposing energies and cannot coexist. So if one is operating, the other will not be. In other words, fear and love cannot be present at the same time. Once a person begins to fear for safety of self or their integrity (as in betrayal) love is sure to die and to do so rather quickly. So second chances are rare and rarely succeed. The answer is to not do it! Think first or risk the relationship. Meanwhile, the third chakra is the seat of one’s personal power. Thus, if there is little energy in this solar plexus area, then the person feels the victim or without power. If there is too much energy in this area, then the person may be a power person or when taken to the extreme, a manipulator, narcissist, or bully over using one’s power.  

Unfortunately, I’ve had experiences with most of these situations including feeling powerless, a victim and even being bullied. Luckily, I learned from each of them and came out stronger. Not everyone is capable of coming into their authentic self to own their power, and be able to love without fear.  The more we do our “homework”, that is, work through our personal issues, the stronger we become in each of our chakras. The goal is to be as balanced as possible. Even love can be too strong wherein we give out too much forgetting ourselves.

The heart is like an emotional bank account with withdrawals when others are mean to us or we give freely to be of service. We then need to take in emotional support and loving kindness in order to balance out this heart energy. I’m providing just the tip of the discussion here but enough for you to get the idea. Don’t give so much that you get depleted or you will get overdrawn, just like your financial bank account would be.

Here’s a story of a situation that happened recently. A woman went to visit a guy friend who wasn’t finished with his routine weekend chores. Rather than stop his activities when she arrived, he insisted upon keeping her waiting another hour past their agreed meeting time. She was a bit aggravated but kept silent about it. She tried to lighten him up by joking around as he seemed so tense about getting things done. As she leaned into to him, his arms flew up in a protective stance – one that a man would take if he was concerned for his safety. This maneuver was totally unnecessary since the woman was much smaller than the man. None the less his arm hit her in the face knocking her on her nose. She was not only stunned by his behavior, she was really physically hurt. He never said he was sorry.

As she was reeling and dizzy from the strike to her face, she stayed in his house for the next few hours while he watched tv and ate dinner. She quietly planned how she would leave so as not to cause any trouble. Eventually, she felt well enough to make excuses and leave. When she did so, he said nothing and watched her walk out. It was only the next day that he realized that he’d just about ruined his chances with this woman and began to beg her to forgive him. She wanted no part of it. And so it went for a week. Eventually, she felt bad for him and gave him a reprieve but only on probation to monitor his behavior. The relationship lasted a few more weeks and then she ended it for good realizing that she could be in her power and not live in fear that he could be violent again.

The next reason is loss of connection. This can happen at any stage of a relationship. Perhaps people get started based on physical attraction and then really get to know each other finding there is little in common. Or what was in common loses interest. Sometimes people get together for the wrong reasons, like over an activity that one partner no longer wishes to pursue. There are many reasons for falling out including just getting older and changing.

The last reason – it was a mistake in the first place often happens when the couple is too young, there is too big an age gap, the financial circumstances are very different, some cultural norm is very different or there isn’t agreement on how it is to be handled, etc. Sometimes people come together to work out karma and the lessons are done; hence the basis for the relationship is done. I’ve experienced this one a number of times.

One thing I can say for sure: if two people come together and feel strongly about a relationship, there is a reason for it. It may be for a time, for a season or for a lifetime. Only you and your divine essence know. Your comments are always welcome.


Why did you leave me?

March 15, 2021

From what I’ve read there are a number of states that people go through after losing a loved one including denial and anger among others. A few months ago I had to put my dear cat Skylar to sleep after many years of caring for him. It was a heart breaking  experience to look for ;hope one day and take him to be euthanized the next.

Making that kind of decision is beyond expression. From the vet’s office I went to the crematorium to part with my little boy forever. I returned several days later to pick up his ashes and prepared his final resting place near my home. As I was about to conduct his funeral, I got the call that my brother, long suffering from cancer, had passed that morning without awakening from a coma he’d been in for the past week.   Why did you leave me?

Within two weeks after my brother’s passing I was on a plane to the west coast to stay with my mother, my initial thinking was that I’d stay for a while, take her to the cemetery and do a service for him since she’d been excluded due to the pandemic and just figure out long range care for her. However, once I arrived, the situation quickly changed. I soon realized that my brother’s family was hidding the fact that he’d gotten Covid from them and they wanted me to leave, but their agenda was unclear. Although their motives can be surmised I can’t prove them. I accepted their rude behavior over the years when we’d get to get her and I’d be left out of conversations attributing it to not living  nearby, however I now realize my inner notion that my sister in law just had no use for me is clear. Its all about control and money. Its very sad really. She just lost her husband and has his estate and details to occupy her yet she monitors my where a bouts, my car, and has my nephew bring in other external people to try to take over insisting that I’m not taking proper care of my own mother. She doesn’t have enough on her own plate? One would think she’d be glad to have someone else here to care for Her husband’s mother as she works and is shutting down his business. Unless it’s not about my Mom but about her money. Oh now we have it, although she inherited mucho from my brother….. what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine too!! No?

Unfortunately,  I’m now caring for my Mother in a way that represents me taking responsibility for her much as a role reversal,  which, of course feels very strange.  I’m doing her laundry, making meals and taking care of other daily details of life. Meanwhile I have a woman  looking in on my own house back home. It’s four months now with no end in sight.

I keep asking my brother now in spirit why he left me with such evil people at my heels making my life so miserable? I have great responsibility and yet have such burdens on top of it.

And in the quiet moments I think of my little boy Skylar and miss him. He tells me that he’s ok and no longer in pain in that little body he had. Surprisingly enough my brother agrees that his wife is not acting properly and he agrees with the defensive actions that I’m forced to take.

Why did you leave me….with this mess??


Creating a loving reality

May 19, 2020

If you ask someone what is missing in their life, many will respond that they’d like more love. The younger generation might feel that they didn’t get enough love from their parents, whereas the older generation might feel forgotten by their kids. Or, the working class might feel that they’re not appreciated at work. Those of one belief system may feel those of other beliefs (whether religious, organizational or political) are against them. And even there are those that judge themselves unworthy of even being loved.

Wow, with all this unloving going on it’s amazing that anyone is happily in love! But of course, there are many people that walk around with smiles on their faces while in relationships, having wonderful children, and happy at their jobs. So what creates loving vs. unloving situations? The question is an age old one of how can one be happy because in actuality, we create our situations (most of the time).

According to brain research as well as ancients religious texts, we create our world one thought at a time. I recently watched a great video on GAIA, the spiritual equivalent of AMAZON PRIME VIDEO Channel, which explained how the brain is wired. This video went on to explain how our thought patterns create new neural networks almost like beating a path to a door from constantly going there.

The result of constantly re-hashing how others were mean, angry, abusive or otherwise non- appreciative of us, is creating a mental state where we begin to believe that we are only deserving of abusive behavior. In other words, by thinking negatively about ourselves we begin to believe the negatively about ourselves which in turn becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. This was a scientifically based video. The other end of the spectrum is the spiritual view where Edgar Cayce, the sleeping prophet and great psychic of the 20th century, promoted the idea that thoughts become actions become our world; or, as we think so we become. So here we have a case of science meeting spirituality; both systems giving support to the idea that thinking negatively is counter-productive to create anything positive.

Now my own universal law appropriate here is that nothing positive comes from a negative. In the case of love, if you don’t love yourself, how can anyone else do so? It also follows that if you want to be loved you need to be more loving yourself, as like attracts like. This is also promoted by many spiritual beliefs as well as the work of Edgar Cayce.

If we create our world one thought at a time and we need to be loving in order to be loved, what is the best way to create a loving reality? I believe the answer is clear! Be positive with your self-talk, have compassion with those around you, think before you speak working towards being the best version of yourself that you can be avoiding throwing stones at others for holding a contrary viewpoint; everyone deserves a place in the world and to express  their reality even if you don’t agree. Hold love in your heart for your fellow humans; one day we might need each other. There are many challenges at hand. No one knows for sure what will happen in the future. Have empathy. Stay in the light and be positive. These are all loving qualities to nurture and behold the love that returns. Voila, you’ve created a loving reality! (Granted, this may not be a perfect solution, but give it a try and see how life improves!!)

Comments are always welcome..


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