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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Mummy

So funny and so sensible! It's kind of related, but I have to go stay with my cousin who is seriously ill. We've always been close - more like brother and sister. But the problem is with his wife. If I was charitable, I'd say she was "shy" (that's what my mother says. She is a good woman). I'm less charitable, I'd say she was unfriendly to her husband's family. She can't compromise on anything - it's all right or all wrong (mostly wrong!) and once she makes up her mind, that's it. However crazy, she sticks to her guns and won't budge. I am happy to help my cousin but I am really worried about coping with his wife while I'm there. And I am only staying with them so that she can keep going to work while he's ill and doesn't have to take unpaid leave. Any advice on being nice and keeping the peace, please?

Yes, keep the peace by being peaceful.  When a person is seriously ill, all bets are off. However cantankerous or pig headed that woman may or may not be, her husband is so sick that you have to come and stay with them.  Isn't that enough to just let everything else go? Get a grip.

When I was a little girl we spent Sunday's with my cousins. They were a big unruly family. We were a small quiet family.  We kept our toys nice. They hardly had any toys and the ones they had were cheap and torn up and rather uninteresting. We ran around outside and ate food I didn't care for very much. I ran too close to a rose bush and was raked across the forehead with a thorny branch. One of the boys laughed at me.

So every Sunday I whined about going there. One Sunday I believe my mother had had enough of my whining.

Me: Ugh to we have to go there! I hate going there!

Mom: Did it ever occur to you that right now as we speak they are all saying, "Ugh. Do they have to come here?  We hate it when they come here!" ?

It had not occurred to me. (I feel compelled to add that every week, after all that complaining, I always whined when it was time to go home as I was immersed in fun.)

Has it occurred to you the your cousin's wife is not looking forward to having to deal with not only a seriously ill husband and all that stress and worry and pain and expense, but relatives who will stink after 3 days (as the saying goes) moving in for extensive stays?  She can be grateful and horrified at the same time, you know.

Here is my advice, which I actually lifted from some lady whose name I cannot recall. She was some sort of "life coach" who was yammering on TV.  She was talking to a client who had to face her mean old sister and was dreading the encounter.  "See her wrapped in bandages, " the life coach said.

What a wise thought! See her the way she really is, in pain and worried sick and trying to cope as best she can. Wrapped in bandages.

You're the healthy one here. Your job is to be nothing but loving, no matter what.

I hope you make good soup.


Claudia said...

I'd would call the cousins wife a chronic malcontent.

Anonymous said...

Thank you - it's me and I have been trying to be aware of her feelings and fully appreciate that my cousin's wife is in a difficult situation. We would ALL rather this was not necessary!

I make excellent soup. I also wash up dishes, clean, deal with medical teams and remain cheerful in what are very difficult circumstances.

I will think of the bandages and keep smiling.

Anonymous said...

Bwahaha. Love the pic. The guy is still smiling! Or do the bandaids make it seem that way?

Anonymous said...

"You're the healthy one here. Your job is to be nothing but loving, no matter what." Brilliant and succinct. I can use that. Thank you!

Constance Teresa said...

Outstanding. I will come away from this tonight thinking of the thorn in my side at work as covered in bandages. I will HATE making myself think that, but I will think it, nevertheless.

Anonymous said...

That's great advice , Sister. What about any tips on forgiving and loving our enemies , especially family members that harm us maybe even in a criminal way eg. outrage of modesty? Thanks!

Angela said...

See her wrapped in bandages... I've never heard of that but I will use it literally with some family members.