Just Ask and then Listen

by T.M. Mulligan

aaapaperworkI’ve struggled for months with a question:  How do I accomplish, with zero tolerance for failure, the assessment, strategy, implementation, occupation, research, study, report and application, monitoring, compromise of personal values, extortion, catastrophic emergency, invasion of personal papers, rehab facility decision, $1,000 down payment, retaining attorneys to guide strategy for Title XIX approval (zero tolerance for failure), leading the unraveling of real estate, bankruptcy, discharge, fraud, malpractice quagmire and retention of law firm to defend our interests in our private property, without allowing sobbing emotions, hopelessness, and the fact that my older and only brother will never return home?

The first time he asked, “Am I ever going home?”  I did everything I could to keep my composure so I could ask him to hold the line as I bellowed through a weeping and deep, deep sorrow for my partner to pick up the line.  And then my sanguine veneer burst and the mourning and loss aaaweepingand sadness and exhaustion and anger were released like Pandora‘s evils of humanity.  It was then that I damned myself for my own humanity; it was this humanity that undermines brotherhoods and best friends, silently damning a single vein then discarding the blind, the weak, the imbalanced to . . . exist among other damaged examples until his emancipation appears upon his death.

“Where am I supposed to find the strength to yet again marshal a campaign to establish and confirm his welfare for the entirety of his now crippled life?  I screamed as a fresh bout of sorrowful nausea racked my formidable frame!

And then I heard it.  Faintly, breathlessly, as though it had traveled a great distance at extraordinary speed.  And then I heard it again clearer, distinct, simple.

“It’s your job,” it said, “Not your Life.  Administer his guardianship with authority and leadership.  Then one day after you’ve navigated his life through a dangerous channel you’ll surrender your charge and let him set his own course.”

The following day I began the intrusive deconstruction of his financial, legal, medical and administrative life with the same degree of organization, tenacity, and dominance as I’d done quite frequently and consistently successful my entire career.

That was my job.  

aaatriumphant