The heartbreak that time doesn’t heal

My sister’s birthday passed last week without my thinking about it. She got her wish. I was the last one in the family still trying to keep the door open after sheMission Impossible walked out of it.

I bring up the subject because summertime is family reunion time – time to haul out the usual petty BS about relatives. It’s pretty easy to sort out the gossipy aunt, the rude brother-in-law, the cousin who spills too much personal information. Then there is adult sibling jealousy, a one-sided condition that leaves its victims baffled. It’s basically the jealous sibling’s self-imposed retribution for her own feeling that she was short-changed by parental comparisons and expectations while growing up.

My sister has adult sibling jealousy. The name sounds like a condition for grade-schoolers, but it’s not. It’s also not as simple as a family feud. In a family feud, both sides can kiss and make up. With adult sibling jealousy, that will never happen unless the jealous one overcomes her feelings. It’s estimated that 45 percent of adults have a jealous relationship with a sibling, and that it’s often one-sided. In fact, the brothers and sisters who are victims of this abuse may be stunned by it, never realizing it exists. I was.

I’m not going to haul all the skeletons out of a walk-in closet, but I do want to give you a couple of early examples. It took a long time to figure out More

Reaching for the ‘new normal’

Dad clip art

webweaver.nu/clipart/fathers-day

The putty knife pings against the siding, peeling off morsels of old paint. It’s a summery sound that reminds me of my dad. This is how he prepped the house for a new coat. I smile. Even if paint doesn’t stick quite as well to a weather-battered cabin as it does to a suburban house, I think: Dad is here, working through my hands.

Dad is missing his 14th Father’s Day. But he’s not missing. He still guides his first-born: Do it the right way now and you won’t have to redo it the right way later. Don’t rush. Stop to drink ice water. Take a nap with the cat.

This is “the new normal.” It’s how we settle after someone we love dies. It never will be normal, though, only new. As Father’s Day approaches, I avoid the ads for tools and men’s clothing, stay out of department stores, won’t even look More

What day is it?

September 2020
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