Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Refueling on Presence

You know when you are in Downeast Maine when you stop at a convenience store and next to the butter is live bait.

I'm here. I cannot begin to explain how important it is for me to be here, but I'm going to try.

The last few days have been impossibly hard for me. My sibling, who shall not be named or identified, has decided to step in and know what's best for my sister.

I don't take care of her well enough.

Mind you, this person and I have a history that is jagged and raw. Nothing good ever comes from contact. My twelve year old girl, with impossibly skinny legs and stringy hair takes over.

She's fighting for her life.

I don't have to.

For thirty years, my sister and I have been close. When my mother threw her out of the house, I finally had a place to go meet her, be with her, and not suffer my mother's wrath.

I have to tell you, for thirty years, no one has ever been able to make me laugh the way my sister can.

I've been there for all the moves, all the boyfriends, the one husband, the divorce, the different businesses, the travels... I have always supported her.

I always will.

Sibling asked me yesterday if I ever asked Cathy what she wants... what she needs to be happy. It made me laugh out loud. Kidding, right? But then, sibling has had no relationship for thirty years with her.

It was clearly an attempt to get under my skin. Poke at old buttons, to bring up my mother's voice telling me I'm selfish, self centered, no good.

Nice try. Almost worked. But then, as I was driving along on the highway, I passed a horse trailer. Now, I've seen horse trailers for so many years I cannot begin to count how many, but this one stood out. Four horses, with windows along the side, with one horse actually sticking it's head out. I've never known a horse that likes to travel. Ever. but this horse had it's head out, eyes fluttering and lips flapping in the wind.

A look of pure joy.

That, I decided, is what I need to keep in my head. Keep the lips flapping.

I will not play tug of war with my sister. I can let go. I know what relationship I have with her, I know what I mean to her. I know what she means to me. It is amusing to think anyone could ever pull us apart.

I treat her like she is living, not like she's dying. It's not out of denial- but a belief that being mindfully present in today is far more helpful than running down the road.

Which is what I do best here, on the ocean. Donald and I sat, had a cocktail and watched the tide rush in last night. Hard work, I said to him. I could feel my shoulders lift.

No more fighting. I won't engage. No tug of war, there is simply no need. Of course I'll support my sister.

Always have.

The tide is coming in again. Time to get the kayak out and go visit the seals. I need to soak all this in, refuel on presence. Keep an eye on the tide and fog bank.

Be here. Now. Nothing more, nothing less.


Blogger Ms. Moon said...

You are so smart. Travel easy.

8:38 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

I wasn't yesterday when I was participating in a back and forth that was most unhealthy.

but I be smart today!

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never listen to what a narcissistic person tells you about other people. Remember, they only see the world in relation to themselves, so they can often start gossip or family fights by talking to different members of the family about what they perceive to be true based on how they feel at the time. You must learn to take them with a grain of salt when they are discussing other people with you. You MUST stay in good touch with your other family members, otherwise the narcissist will see the opportunity to create drama and get attention from that

4:37 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

so true, anon. so very very true.

it is laughable to think that sibling, absent for so many years, is the one in the "know."

methinks it's far more about guilt, don't you?

I'm not playing the game anymore.

which ultimately will be the most infuriating.

4:56 PM  
Blogger Suzy said...

that is what crossed my mind when we were walking. Guilt and the need to make up for not being there all those years and trying to punish you for all the years you were. hope you enjoyed your time alone Ian said they are heading there today. love ya and you are, never forget, the best sister/friend/aunt/etc. anyone could ask for I should know.

10:06 AM  

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