When I feel anxious and out of sorts, I try to become still and quiet. I reflect and examine. I pray and study. These are the ways I recharge my batteries and sync back up with what I need to do. This weekend has been a quiet one. I needed it.
In the quiet, I was able to remember a story from when my mother was still alive. My mother was this quiet and peaceful soul. She didn't like drawing attention to herself. She didn't like confrontation. She was a home body. As the oldest in her family, mothering just came naturally to her. Her youngest sister was quite the opposite. She was a spitfire. She loved having fun. She didn't mind telling you what was on her mind. But, as different as they were, they loved each other so much. It didn't matter that ten years separated them or that their personalities were so different. They were sisters.
They had one other sister, who was older than my aunt and younger than my mom. She and her husband had problems with alcoholism. Once a year or so after my grandmother died, my mom and aunt would try to make a visit. The whole family, knowing how little that this aunt had, would pull together, buying food and clothes and pooling money to "help" them out. I imagine that they had never heard the term enabling.
My mother wasn't really comfortable flying. But, she and my aunt bought the tickets and took off for what would be their last visit. My cousin and I met at the airport to pick up our moms when the trip was over. I greet my very quiet mother who says that she was so very thankful to get on the plane. She said that she almost wanted to kiss the ground in that plane, she was so happy to be there. She had been looking forward to that flight for days. I look at her and think, who is this woman? Then my aunt tells me how they had emptied their purses of every last cent to "help" out my aunt. My aunt was nothing but rude and invited them to leave when they suggested she might have a problem with alcohol. She had actually tried to kick her penniless sisters out after they made the trip and literally gave her their last dime.
As my mother and her sister are walking so fast out of the airport, my cousin and I are barely able to keep up, their chatter is nonstop. They laugh at how they were out of money and had to beg the flight attendant for extra peanuts. My mom was a diabetic and so my aunt was worried about her not eating. She begged for extra snacks, with my mother pleading for her not to worry about it, and the flight attendant, clearly irritated with this crazy duo, throws the snacks at them.
My mom was a softy, but she wasn't being thrown out. I'm surprised that my aunt didn't give her sister what for. She probably did. It is a funny story to us because one, we didn't have to deal with it and two it sounded stranger than any sitcom we could have come up with on our own.
Sounds crazy, right? It was. It still is today. Addiction starts whirling and whirling and anything within reach of it's vortex gets sucked in. How do you remove yourself from the vortex? Well, that would be to accept that we are not in control. That would be to focus on what God's will is for us. It would mean to stop enabling. It would mean to detach from the problem and let the problem belong to the addict.
I love my family, warts and all. We all have a crazy aunt. I think I've been called the crazy aunt by some of my nieces and nephews. That's okay. My prayer today is for the reader's family. I pray that they will have the insight and courage to hand their problems over to God and seek his will in their life. And I pray for the soul of Henry.