Sunday, August 24, 2014

Everything Changes

My Mom and brother visiting the new house.
Back in the early 2000's when my family lived in Texas, my husband, brother and I were involved each year in Family Bible School at church. During the week long summer bible class we would do a play based on the year's theme. Each night of FBS after the class portion we would put on a 30 minute installment of the play. It was great fun, helped cement some of the lessons we'd been learning, and in some cases, put popular songs of the day into the "never hearing that song after this would be too soon" category. For me, anyway. One of those songs was "Everything Changes." I think we changed the lyrics a bit and used it when we were teaching about Paul. But these days that particular refrain, "Everything Changes" is stuck in my head

The changes began earlier in the month with the death of my mother. That was a blow no one saw coming even though she was 75 years young. She was strong, almost too independent, still caring for my brother who still lived with her. The one thing she could not do was drive. Her nerves were too bad to handle that so while she lived near us, my husband and I taxi'd her around town. Other members of the family did, as well, when the Hubs and i couldn't. 

Her death left more than just the void of her being there. It meant that someone new would be my brother's caretaker. Born prematurely and placed in an incubator with no oxygen for a few minutes by a careless or overworked nurse left him with mild cp (cerebral palsy) that affects the left side of his body and fairly mild mental challenges. Yet he is very intelligent. He may be at a loss for math skills, but he is the family historian. He remembers things many of us have forgotten --and we three sisters are all younger than he is.

My mother never left a will. Whether she didn't want to go through the expense or simply didn't think it was necessary ("Bobby knows who gets what") she didn't get one done, though I urged her to do so many times. With few exceptions there haven't been any squabbles over material possessions. Bobby has been a different story.  There have been heated discussions, hurt feelings, and a lot of stress, simply because two bull headed sisters each wanted what was best for Bobby. Even a few nieces got in on the act. In the end, Bobby spoke up. While he would love a place of his own, it's not going to happen yet. But while he would be happy and taken care of with any of us, his wishes are simple: He wants to be able to go to church every Sunday, wants a karate class, wants to go to the movies now and then. He chose to be with me. 

While I hate all the stress that this has caused, I am happy for this new chapter in my life. Though we are 14 years apart, Bobby and I share a closeness, just as our sisters do with each other.  I grew up taking walks with him, listening to the ghost stories he loves so much. And yes, as the years have gone by, I, the youngest of the family, have been guilty of mothering him a bit. I mother everyone who comes into my line of sight. It's just part of me to be a bit of a mother hen.

As for the Hubs and J, I think they too are happy with Bobby living with us. J adores his uncle. He sees someone who understands him (for the most part) and he has a few of his uncle's traits. The Hubs is one who loves to talk about the bible and faith in general, and Bobby is very much interested in that.

I am looking forward to seeing life as it unfolds. I know I still have much to learn from my older brother, and I hope I can teach him some as well.