Nothing like someone else's brush with death to teach you a thing or two about yourself. Now let's see how long I actually ponder these lessons before I back-burner them, and get caught up in the chaos and buzz of daily life. I give myself a month. And that's being très generous. Most likely, I will be complaining about some everyday nothingness by week's end.
I think someone more spiritual, or more perceptive, or maybe just smarter, would be all over these signs and incidents and feelings beating me over the head. I am just getting more confused.
My brother, with whom I am not very close, is suddenly extremely ill. Like ICU, intubation, kidneys failing, kind of ill. My gut reaction was guilt (of course), nausea and sadness. But none of that lasted very long, and I've gone into some sort of 'third party' mode, where I am being very rational and objective about the whole thing.
Except the part about my mother. Even during this awful awfulness, she is driving me nuts. In my robotic neutral mode, I feel for her, and I know this must be heart wrenching. After all, isn't this the EXACT thing I feel like I'm destined to face? The one thing that keeps me awake at night? Worrying I will have to watch my beautiful, moody, maddening boy die? Where's my compassion? It's all mixed in with the annoyance I feel about her little digs toward my sister-in-law, and the way I feel she's, on one hand, acting like my brother is on death's door, yet on the other hand, playing a game with the actual information. AND HOW SICK AM I to even be paying attention to my mom's constant martyr, attention-seeking behavior???
Ultimately, I want to be a good example for my boys. I want them to see how family is there for each other. But that lesson started years ago. That's one thing I really recognized that I wanted for them early on. Perhaps because I didn't have a close relationship with my brother. And it makes it really hard now to just kind of jump into action and "go home," when I am closer to my mailman than I am to my family.
My boys love being around each other. They miss each other when one is gone for even an afternoon. They play together. They fight, and then apologize, unprompted. They share. They laugh and tell each other secrets. They help each other and show each other new skateboard tricks. They stick up for each other. They love each other, although they sure can bicker like two old women. No one makes one of them madder than the other. But then it passes, and they talk it out. Feelings aired. Wounds mended. In their own, bizarro teen, but honest and open way.
They are so ahead of me on this. I should be taking my cues from them. Please God, let it last forever.