On Family vs. Friends
As I toss and turn on the eve of leaving my familial duties in Md, to enjoy the familial joys of visiting my grandbabies, I wonder about the connections of families vs. friends.
It seems that at this moment our lives are in two totally different directions, â€˜cause while the two of you are playing â€œkeep awayâ€ from family, I seem to be entrenched in mine. I get to be the sibling trying to coerce other siblings, just like you two, to do their familial duty. Do I want to be the one here caring for my aging parent? Noâ€¦ do I want to be the one doing the coercing? No. Do I want to be 3 months away from my spouse? Noâ€¦. then why am I here? Do I have an overdeveloped sense of loyalty to a parent? I donâ€™t think soâ€¦. I have just as many issues with that parent as my siblings do. Is it because Iâ€™m the oldest, and thus have received more brainwashing about the fact that family is everything, and that theyâ€™re what you can count on, and that you should be doing your part? Possiblyâ€¦.
Is it because I think of my husband, sitting in Denver, with NO family connections at all any more? When I think of the family gatherings Iâ€™ve been to here (and Iâ€™m the only sibling that seems to take mom to those gatherings), and then I think of him all alone there, I wonder which one really counts more in the long runâ€¦ family (whom Iâ€™ve known all my life â€“ even though I may not be close to them – the cousins who have the same colored eyes, and stubborn Pollock attitude, the siblings who first run the other way, then try to take over everything,)â€¦ or do friends count more in the long run. Ken canâ€™t take his support group with him to Denver, but heâ€™s quickly creating another one of his own. But would that new support group know how to notify me if something happened to him while Iâ€™m back east? On the other hand, would the family here know how to notify him if something happened to me here?
For me right now, the question comes down toâ€¦ who will I be able to go to when Iâ€™m homeless after December, and the unemployment checks run out? Will I be able to count on friends? Would family put me up? For how long?
Yeah, JRâ€¦ Iâ€™m sure future employers smell family entanglements on me in my interviews, thus decreasing my chances of success in obtaining that elusive employment. Although Iâ€™ve managed to continue the job search while entangled (I truly donâ€™t know how, and Iâ€™m not sure of the quality of resumes/letters Iâ€™ve sent out), I know that I lost out on at least one or two interviews due to being â€œin transitionâ€. And the couple I have received phone interviews for, havenâ€™t gone any furtherâ€¦ Iâ€™m not sure if thereâ€™s something in my voice giving away the fact that I wouldnâ€™t be truly able to put my heart and soul into a job at this moment, â€¦
So should the answer be to run away from family commitments, and let my mother stew in her own inadequacies? Will I be happy if my kids do that to me in my old age? If they are too busy with their lives to make sure that I am not overdosing my self with the wrong medicines due to dementia? Have I raised my kids to have compassion for the elderly? Time will tellâ€¦ (too soon)..
But thenâ€¦ should my whole life be on hold while I tend to my aging parent?
Wherein lies the right answer? It just makes me appreciate the fact that we were able to have my in-laws next door to us, and able to pay a caretaker for them, AND I had a job that I was familiar at, and able to do in my sleepâ€¦ but how Iâ€™ll survive this yearâ€¦. I truly wonderâ€¦.