Monday, January 05, 2009

Dis-R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Aloha to Christmas decorations for 2008. I have been busy all day putting things away. Putting the tree away, putting the new lamps (I found a great deal!) into their new places ....and finally - putting away my Mom's room.

My intent was to provide a happy, peaceful and safe place for Mom to live. A place that she would eventually be able to call home. I did hear her say a few times, "Oh, it's so good to be home." That made me smile.

She woke up in a mood the other morning which I did not understand. Maybe she "woke up on the wrong side of the bed." As I thought back over that morning I wished I had stepped away and left her to fuss alone instead of staying and trying to make her feel better. BUT...I didn't.

Now she has gone to my brothers house. The house none of her daughters (including me) wanted Mom to return to. But it is the house - the one that she apparently considers "home."

She came in July to live here, and while she was here, he had eventually sobered up. Mom had the money to pay for his habit and he took it while she lived there. While she was here (or my sister's homes), he lost his easy money and sobered up. Now she is home and we worry for her safety. When he sobered up again this time Mom's never-dying hope that he had finally changed revived and she began to be more and more discontent to be in my home.

"That's what she does," said my sister. She has to find a reason to go back and when we don't agree that my brother "has changed," she becomes agitated --- which I now see worked brilliantly for her. *kicking myself*

I don't know how to fix problems like this, even though we all learned to cope with Dad's alcoholism when I was young. I know of the abuses that alcohol can cause in families, but I still don't know how to help Mom get over my brother or my brother to get over alcohol.

I didn't think I was being disrespectful when I tried to contradict Mom's accusation "You are just tired of me and you don't want me here anymore." "No, no. That's not the truth." As she went on this way I remembered the little story "Lies" that I wrote awhile back about listening to wrong words. She was determined that I didn't want her here. I walked away in defeat, and she had us take her back to - that house.

I spoke with my brother today. He was growl-ly and disrespectful. He said, "You never called me before - now all of the sudden you are going to call all the time?" I thought to myself - I still am not calling you, I am calling Mom. I asked for Mom and bit my tongue.

So many people all over the world suffer just like this and worse, coping with alcohol habits that consume families. Why do people like alcohol anyway? Grape juice tastes so much better! I've seen the havoc that alcohol does to whole families. Too many Alaskan villages suffer with this ugly behavior. We should not consume it if we can't control it.

I commented to a good friend (my high school counselor) that I can't please everyone I guess, and she being the wise counselor commented back "Let's just try to focus on pleasing the Lord." Yes! That is exactly what I needed to be told and what I needed to read! Thanks Carol!

I do respect my Mom - by sharing this heartache I pray that it will help those in Alaska and other places that are unwillingly having to deal with alcohol abuse. I ask that you won't think I am being disrespectful of my Mom in sharing it.

I love my Mom. I want the best for her. I wish she was here with me right now. I am praying and trusting that God will bring the best into her life... and especially that it will include the changed heart and life of my brother. May it be so, Lord Jesus. Until then, I pray that God will protect her and give her wisdom about when it's time to come back here, or to my sister's homes. I will always have room in my home for Mom.

"The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity." Benjamin Franklin

"Men are respectable only as they respect" Ralph Waldo Emerson

"A test of a people is how it behaves toward the old. It is easy to love children. Even tyrants and dictators make a point of being fond of children. But the affection and care for the old, the incurable, the helpless are the true gold mines of a culture." Abraham J. Heschel

Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, [My note: evidences of being filled with the Spirit are:] speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God. Ephesians 5:17-21

6 comments:

CONNIE'S THOUGHTS FROM THE HEART said...

Dear Connie Marie well, this time it is you that has me in tears. I feel your pain in so many areas. I know about alcohol and what it can do to families as a child. I, hate it. It is the devil, plain and simple. My heart aches for those who are caught in its trap. As a Mother, I can see that because your brother was once a babe she carried inside of her. She will always feel responsible for him no matter how old he gets or probably what he does. I pray that God will be with her and protect her and that your brother's heart will be opened to God and His ways. No, no, I would never think that you would respect your Mother, that is not in you and I am sure that she knows that you love her as well. Just give it to the Lord,dear friend. He alone can make the difference. If you continue to let your Mom know that she is welcome to come back that is really all that you can do. I will be praying, and praying. God bless you, Connie Marie. connie

CONNIE'S THOUGHTS FROM THE HEART said...

I meant disrespect not respect., Sorry, I am sure that you knew what I meant but I wanted to be sure. love to you. connie

Faith said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing your heart on this topic. I have not been directly affected my alcholism although I have a couple of friends who have had to deal with it in their own families or in them selves.
It is only through Jesus that we can overcome our sinful habits. And even then we need to really press in....it is a drug which makes it addictive. Even with Christ the addiction can be difficult but it CAN be overcome with lots of hard work and prayer and support. I will pray for your brother Connie Marie. I love all the quotes you used here too! May the Lord bless you today as you focus on pleasing Him! :)

Jettie said...

I came here to give a thanks you for the adorable surpise that came to our door yesterday!! we loved them all!!!
And We have more in common than I knew!!
Your words brought me to tears. Alcohol is a tuff thing and it has been an awful thing in my life from my dad to my brother. The things my brother has asked of us and put us threw You wouldn't beleive it...than again you probably would. And it is always someone elses fault.
I can feel the Love you have for your Mom. And I have no words other than You have and do have respect for Her!!!! I admire you so much!!! Your loving words are wonderful.
I will be thinking of you and do so know we in this house love you!!!

mrsjojo said...

I have enjoyed the photos you have shared and the posts you have shared of having your mom in your home with you. It seemed to be such a good thing for all involved. I know that you miss her so much and desire good care for her.
Thanks for being so up front on the alcoholism in this state of Alaska. It has ruined many families and lives. I can only thank God for sparing my family from it.
My prayer is for your mom to be safe and for your brother to be freed from this sin. ((Hugs))

elizabeth embracing life said...

For those who have had to deal with this, your blog is real and speaks truth of a terrible disease. Praying for your heart and that God would give you peace.