Family Transitions

I have started to write about my recent experiences in hopes that I can gain clarity. I am sharing these writings in hopes that it may resonate with some of you who may have similar experiences.  These posts will be broken up into a series of blog posts.  I would love to hear your comments on the blog and would appreciate if you would also share them with friends you feel can relate.

I have been absent from any business online presence pretty much since late March.  I know that I had shared with many of you that I would be busy with B School and that would keep my presence to a minimum for a bit, but in the second week of B School my mom had a stroke. It was a messy affair.  She and my dad were in the middle of an argument when it happened.  At first things seemed mildly out of order but manageable, then it just continued to unfold for days.  She was in and out of the hospital and then ended up in rehab for 7 weeks. I made my way to Omaha every chance I had.  Being self-employed, I don’t earn paid time off.  If I wasn’t working I was in Omaha, trying to be helpful.  

Somewhere over the years my parents stopped getting rid of things and started a form of “stacking as organizing.”  Living 200 miles away it was easy enough to ignore it and see it as odd or eccentric, but not do anything about it.  I could no longer ignore it.  When/if my mom came home she was going to need more space to navigate.  My very first trip up my sister and I cleaned out their computer room, (my bedroom while growing up) I was amazed at how much stuff could come out of one room.

My father was overwhelmed and opted out in many ways.  I came to realize how he had never been raised or taught how to deal with this kind of crisis.  If my car had broken down he was priceless.  He taught me how electricity works, how to change my oil, pull my engine and put in a new transmission.  He was the man that all the neighborhood kids gathered at his garage on Saturday mornings, just to see what he was up to.  He was a man’s man and yet he always taught me that there was nothing I couldn’t do.  I think he always secretly hoped I would become a scientist or president some day.

My business is focused on helping women in transition, but I felt helpless to soften the experience for my parents.  They do not have the same or similar philosophies I have about happiness, moving forward, spending energy on fear, etc.  We don’t even speak the same language in many ways.  When people see pictures of me with my family they tend to make comments like, “one of these things is not like the others.”  How was I ever going to be of service to them?

Ps. I would like to say how eternally grateful I am to my sister.  She is an amazing woman, a mother of 5 with a career as a very respected nurse.  She lives about a mile from my parents and I don’t know how any of us would have made it through this process without her.