We, her children, have been at her side to support her as well as my father...... And as is usual in families we have "family dynamics". Truthfully we are quite a well functioning family with underlying love and acceptance of one another with only occasional flare-ups. Which I think is great. There are 10 children; 3 girls and 7 boys. My parents are hard working, honest, caring people and they did their best to raised us to be the same.
Two nights ago, as I was helping her into bed, I got her all settled in and was holding her hand, she looked into my eyes and thanked me for helping her. Then she asked me, "do you think all families have some dysfunction?" Now I'm not sure which "flair up" she may have been thinking about or if there was a specific reference to her question at all but I sensed some reflection had been going on in her.
I said to her emphatically: All families have plenty of dysfunction; we can't help it; it's the perfect design anyway. Each of us has our own set of issues that we seem to be born with. (Which we can see in our family....there are 10 of us and no 2 are alike in personality, propensity or issues) Then we get to live in a family with other people who love us .... unconditionally---to the best of all of our abilities. It's our best opportunity to be supported in our journey! It's nothing to feel bad about or think it could have been any other way.
The main key is to underscore everything or build everything upon a foundation of unconditional love, gentleness and friendliness with ALL. And ALL means ourselves too.
As I was going on about this she began to fall asleep; her eyes were fluttering open only every few seconds and I said good night to her.
She held on to my hand for a moment longer and said "thank you"
And I thought about the first time that I realized that ALL means ME too.....I remembered the relief and comfort I afforded myself on that first time and how inner gentleness and friendliness has become a basis for my journey and has allowed me to take risks, explore possibilities and calmed my fears.
I don't know how gentle she is or isn't with herself inside. I know she was and is gentle and loving toward us.
She probably just needed a little reminder...as we all do from time to time....that
ALL means YOU too.