Monday, December 7, 2009

Fish and Visitors Smell After Three Days -- There's No Place Like Home!

As I mentioned in my previous blog, my brother is ill and our family around the country was called in to say good-bye to him. We didn't know exactly how long we would stay. Some of us planned to stay a week, others 10 days, some thought they would wait until the end. With each passing day, each of us realized that while his illness is severe, he may possibly hang on for days, weeks or months. We all have our families and jobs and lives at home. I decided to come home today.

I miss my family very much, but there were other factors. Benjamin Franklin once said, "Fish and Visitors Smell After Three Days." I always remember Ben's words after Family Reunions, Funerals and family gatherings such as this. I love my extended family, my brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews. It was especially good to see all of my sisters together again. We range in age with an 18 year difference in ages from the youngest to the oldest. We all stayed at another brother's house. My brother was a hero for having us stay at his home. His wife is the most gracious old-fashioned homemaker, much like our own mother.

After visiting our ill brother each day, "the Aunts" (as we were called) went to dinner or stayed in and watched movies or played scrabble. We are all competitive when we play games. Some of us have very different political views. We are each matriarchs of our own families. We each live in different cities/states. I guess you would be right if you said each of us was a bit bossy and tend to get our own ways with our own families. With all the stress of our brother's illness, I knew it was just a matter of time before the tension built up.

My oldest sister is an old-fashioned type of girl. She was a beauty queen in high school and still carries on some of her old daily prep routines. Every morning she prepares herself, like a ritual, for the day. She showers, applies make-up, including mascara, eye shadow and eyeliner. Her hair is thinning so she wears a small hair piece. She always dresses nicely, making sure she is color coordinated in a pantsuit with matching shoes and jewelry. Politically, she is a Republican. She does not like our President. She mentioned to me that she doesn't know for sure about Obama being a Muslim or a citizen but she does know that he was born out of wedlock and a President should not be born out of wedlock. There are higher standards for President. I love my sister so I didn't disagree with her. I just shrugged my shoulders and changed the subject.

The rest of my sisters are more casual. At home we wear jeans/slacks and tops. My second oldest sister doesn't wear make-up. I wear very little. The two youngest tend to glam it up a bit with make up and do's. They also tend to stick together. Both are as competitive as the rest of us.

What is interesting is, my two oldest sisters and I, especially my oldest, with the most opposite view in politics and in life --- we tend to get along together more so than with the younger ones. We don't say this out loud. It tends to go unsaid. It may be because we have quieter life styles. Our "party days" are long gone. We enjoy staying home, watching TV, blogging, playing games on the internet and occasionally going to the Casino.

Call me silly, but I did enjoy the sound of my husband begging me to come home early vs waiting for the end of the week. I enjoyed my son calling me and telling me he missed me, asking when I would come home. I enjoyed my son and daughter in law texting me and saying they missed me too.

Even in these sad, stressful times of my brother's illness, it's just like Judy Garland said, "There's no place like home!"


pcorn54 said...

Hey, and we missed you too, de verdad! Welcome back and the candles are lit for your brother in the Catedral de Monterrey

Take care hon!

ultima said...

Sounds like family.

ultima said...

So what is your Republican sister's views on illegal aliens and border security?

Dee said...

I don't ask her. She has very strong opinions and holds them close to her heart. She is also very old school. I defer to her because I do not wish to argue with her and rather than doing that, I will change the subject.

I Travel for JOOLS said...

I just got back from a sister get-together too because my mom nearly died. She will, but as you said, it could be days to months and there is no way I can be 500 miles away from home for months.

Tough times. Good to see family but emotionally and physically draining.

There is a 21 year spread from the oldest to the youngest in my family. Three republicans and two democrats. We used to joke about it during the Clinton era and they would rag me during the Bush era. I would send them funny cards, etc.and vice versa. But, oh boy, you don't do that now or they really get upset.'s an off topic.

Dee said...

Thank you for sharing.
As you've shared and also for me, from the illness, to the emotions, to the sensitivities by all, the stress was overwhelming.

While I have the reprieve of coming back to the normalcy of home, those staying and living the day to day of the illness will have growing stress day to day. I don't know how they will bear it.

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