January 17, 2010


I have two brothers. HA is single, in his 50’s, intelligent, funny and creative. His big, 6’2”frame is, however, carrying close to 350 lbs. This weight is causing problems such as back pain, fatigue, no energy, a constant worry to him. He is an alcoholic and drinks beer, which keeps the weight on and his stomach huge. I feel for him, because for most of his life, he was the smallest kid of all four of us, and always thin until the past 10 yrs. or so. But the beer….

He recently emailed me that he went 14 days without a beer, went on a strict diet and lost over 20 lbs! I was humbled and surprised by his comment, ‘Imagine what I would have lost trapped under rubble.’ So the beer money is going to Haiti. I’m very proud of him! And I admire his thoughtful perspective.

My mother, 90, lives in assisted living and has dementia, which she refers to as a total annoyance and disruption in her life. She knows she is forgetful and gets confused about many things, but it is not 24/7, so much of the time she can take care of herself and some of the small, simple details of her life. Lately, however, she is having a harder time just getting up in the mornings. Once she is up, had her coffee and toast, she is good to go the rest of the day. The hard part is deciding if she needs someone to come in early in the mornings to help her get going. That could be expensive, plus, Mom is against it, as she is still a bit stubborn about her privacy and lifestyle.

So my older brother, JC, who takes good care of Mom’s bills and bank accounts, suggested that he pay me (from Mom’s account) to give her the extra attention she needs more often now. I was struck by the thought that while I am unemployed and really need an income, I just wouldn’t feel as loving or caring if I was going over to Mom’s to care for her for the money. Should I pay myself to do what I would otherwise do out of a love for her? I also have to consider my hubby, who is disabled and unable to drive. I do many other things for him on a daily basis. I have to plan times to go to my Mom’s when I don’t have to do stuff for hubby. It is usually last minute, but I’m trying more and more to show up to help her regularly. I never thought about being paid for what I do for her. I am suddenly in a quandary.

I will seek God’s wisdom concerning this and make a decision this week. Everyone, take care, love God, be considerate and flexible.

Love, MaryLynn :)

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