Tuesday, March 16, 2010

the simple ability to be

preamble for readers:

my sister is attending one of the top two english speaking universities in the world. she is attending on a full salary and expenses scholarship (and her salary is about what i make in 3 years... and i'm doing OK). the list of recipients of this scholarship over it's history is a who's who of world notables ranging from people you've never heard of to Presidents, Prime Ministers, and Nobel nominees and laureates.

my sister is an overachiever of the highest order

i'm proud of her and her achievements

but she has issues with people and relationships and still trying to measure up to everything my parents demand.

she is a pleasant enough - if at times manically loud - person. she is highly professional, but interpersonally often awkward. she has not had a lot of successful relationships with men. she was married and divorced. her ex-husband is now dead from a medical condition.

FYI: she is the oldest of the three of us. i am the youngest

---- email from me to her (about 10 days ago) ----

> ...now be here at [university]


there is a whole whack of preamble that should be at the front of this comment - so i hope that the short version will suffice, and that you will be ok with a broad brush, and lack of nuance or soft-pedalling

please interpret no criticism and only positive intent


i believe that you are one of the most capable people i know

i hope that now that you have been a [scholarship scholar] and a peer with the best and the brightest in the world there at [famous university], that you will have achieved the elusive "good enough" that i believe was demanded of us, and that we always seemed to fail at (c.f. parents - early/ middle/current programming)

that as you live this lofty life, in this lofty surrounding, that you will come to a gut - because our brains lie to us and keep us dancing the jig [c.f. Shirley Temple] demanded of us to play out the role of parent aggrandising prop - a gut understanding that you are good enough

good enough for you

for yourself

and that the joy and satisfaction of being fully comfortable with self will be granted

that each of the three of us will find serenity


i was asked this weekend what i would like said about me at my funeral. the person asking said he would like to be remembered as a "good father, who loved and cared for his children"

i thought for awhile and said that i didn't want anything said at my funeral - that i would like to be the last one to go so that i could make sure that all who preceded me that i cared about would be cared and comforted

that i didn't actually want anyone to think anything about me

that my desire was (is) to, at my death, to have lived at least the preceding day (and hopefully many years) fully at peace with who i am with no nagging doubts about my "worthwhileness" as a human being


the simple ability to be

with nothing more desired



her response:

"No offense heard or taken. More later"


[she was leaving for an international trip of some duration two days later [that she is still away on] - so the short form reply is fine by me - she had no time to think through and craft a reply)


Big Pissy said...

At least she took the time to acknowledge your email. :)

cadbury_vw said...

oh - absolutely - i have no problem with her short reply

she was heading for the middle east a day and a half later... and had to get a bunch of papers and things cleared

we have been skirting around some of the issues associated with our childhoods for some time

so the fact that she didn't eviscerate or dismiss my comments in 2 sentences means that something resonated

Wien. said...

Hi Cad.

I wanted to check in, to let you know that I still think of you. I haven't read your blog in eons, I've been lost in my own world and still am. I wanted to just say "hello" and thank you for being a blog friend.


Sicilian said...

Thinking about you. . . . are your parents back home yet?