Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving to all of my wonderful readers who are caring for aging parents and a double blessing to you GenSandwichers who still have children at home and are caring for your parents. I pray God's richest blessings upon you this Thanksgiving. 

I've just returned from five days at Mom's, a visit that included both medical appointments and a big family dinner. While everyone helped with the dinner, we still haven't trained the sibs to stay for clean up. Almost everyone suddenly had to leave before we even started dishes and putting away the leftovers. In all fairness, there was a storm coming in and those who had traveled felt the need to get on the road before it hit. I was grateful for my brother who stayed and helped to the very end. I can tell I'm getting older. But the end of the day, and through the next day, I could barely move. 

While it was important to give Mom a full Thanksgiving dinner with her whole family, I find that it's getting harder and harder to manage it. I feel conflicted  and in a no-win situation. I want to make it nice for Mom -- who knows which holiday will be her last. But I find I resent sibs who consistently make excuses for not pitching in and contributing a fair share. I honestly don't have any more energy than they do, but I guess I'm just stubborn enough to tough through it -- to my detriment.

How do you mange holidays at your house? I'd love some suggestions for honoring Mom while maintaining my own health and well-being in a situation where agreeing on responsibilities in advance hasn't worked.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Christmas Gift

How often do we discount or mistreat others? And how often are we treated badly by others? And how often are the reasons for those conflicts a mystery, even to us?

The Christmas Gift by R. William Bennett is a charming story of a newcomer, a bully, and the benefits of doing the right thing. The lessons young Scott learns are good reminders to all of us who are tempted to react in kind rather than responding kindly.

As I’m preparing to spend time with family over the holidays, this book reminds me to look beneath the surface behaviors, to accept more than my part in disagreements, and to do the right thing. Sometimes I need that. We all have unhealed places in our lives and we all need a Christmas gift – throughout the year.

Labels: ,

Monday, November 15, 2010

Do We Become More Negative with Age?

My mom has always been negative. She’s always been a victim. So why does it bother me so much now? Is it getting worse, or am I just growing weary of it? Hard to know…

I find that it doesn’t matter what I say to her. She finds a way to give it a negative spin. Last week we invited a young couple to lunch. They are our son’s age—late 20s—and he was one of my writing students. His parents recently died, so we invited them for lunch. I mentioned it to Mom. Her response: “Why would they want to have lunch with you? You’re too old.” Excuse me! I get along just fine with young people. We had a lovely time. But it stung to think that Moms first response was critical.

I could go on and on, but then I’d be negative too. Just once I’d love for my mom to delight with me. To rejoice with me. To celebrate me and what I do. I guess the good news is that her attitude has caused me to work extra hard a being positive with my son and DIL. When they come, we celebrate them. When we talk on the phone, I encourage them even when I know I’d have done it differently. I want them to know I’m on their side, no matter what.

So what do you do with a negative parent? And how do we avoid becoming one? I’ve tried correcting, cajoling, and countering Mom. She just gets upset. So now I just ignore here and move on. And meanwhile, I remember that I’m becoming the old woman I will be. So I’m developing an attitude of gratitude and a positive mindset. What do you do?

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

Labels: , , ,

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fiction Friday: Blind Sight

Blind Sight by James H. Pence is a fast-moving thriller with an unusual twist. Peter Bishop is frantic to protect his ten-year-old twins from a powerful cult and find their mother, who is in hiding. In desperation, he sends them to Thomas Kent, a college friend he hasn’t seen in years. Kent, already deep in his own grief, tries to avoid the favor, but soon is enmeshed in the life and death adventure.

The book races through several unlikely but thrilling plot twists in Texas and the bayous of Louisiana as Kent tries to protect the children, one of whom is blind, and find their mother with the cult hot on their trail. A cult that will stop at nothing to avoid exposure.

This book was a thoroughly enjoyable read. A little far-fetched, but hey, it’s fiction. And we’re looking for escape. Thanks to Kathy Carlton Willis for sending it.


Friday, November 05, 2010

Fiction Friday: Farraday Road

Farraday Road by Ace Collins is an unusual book. I received it from Zondervan about a year ago, but have been backlogged with blog tours and since this one was unsolicited, I didn’t read it until I was sick this week.

The book starts with a murder, a disappearance, and the subsequent investigation. Reads like a typical cop-murder mystery. Fast paced and earthy. All-business female cop, wealthy victim. The requisite twists and turns. The mystery moves from the victims to Swope’s Ridge, a splendid piece of property in the Ozarks. Then a little more than halfway through it takes a sharp turn to the unlikely. It moves from believable to fanciful to fantastical. Coincidences become increasingly less believable in a National Treasure or Indiana Jones sort of way.  A charming new character is introduced, but in a contrived way. More twists and turns, and then it becomes clear. There aren’t enough pages for the various mysteries to resolve. And sure enough, just as another plot element is introduced, to be continued…

I enjoyed the read, but was terribly disappointed with the sales gimmick designed to assure the sale of book two.I don't mind series. I don't mind leaving some elements unresolved. but this was a little too much.

Labels: ,