Being That Someone for Someone


Soul Mama has a sunrise obsession. Anyone who has been reading my blog for a while knows that most every morning, I get up and go outside to watch that big ol' ball of fire make its appearance. Metaphorical, bland, blah blah blah: sunrise reminds us that a fresh start is always available, every single day. Plus, holy carumba, it's gorgeous—and it's different every day. The best days include sunrise at the beach, and through my beloved late sister, who passed away in January, I am fortunate to have access to a gorgeous beach. This  morning, as I walked along at 5:23 a.m., I sent deep gratitude her way. Then, gratitude turned to wonder and respect and, frankly, awe. 

She was married, had a child, divorced. She worked hard and became vice president at a very large company. She had a lovely home in Bethesda. Then she bought herself a beach house in Massachusetts. Then, one day during a particularly stressful period at work, she felt her eyes going. Words didn't make sense. She started spelling things phonetically, like a first grader. After a year of doctors, scans, medications, suffering, and emotional pain, she was diagnosed. Alzheimer's. She was about 53. 

The thing: She bore it with composure and class and optimism. And she did it all alone. Yes, she had her daughter, but her daughter was young and rightfully occupied with making her own life, as people in their twenties should be. And, yes, she had me, ten years younger and her loyal, devoted lieutenant. I was there for her, answered her every call, but I had kids and a husband and several jobs, and well... I couldn't be there every minute, either. She had these things, but she had no husband, no boyfriend, no girlfriend, no person to wrap her arms around and cry to in the middle of the night. She did it alone. With grace.

Jaw: Drop. 

There are many people who have no one. It happened a lot in my family; maybe it's happening in yours. Maybe you are that someone for someone. They can rely on you; they know they can call you in the middle of the night when they are scared and alone and need to talk. I was that someone for my brother. For my Dad. And for other family members. I still am, for my other brother. None of them had/have a "someone" to help them when they were sick and dying. Taking on this role was not noble. I am no natural caretaker. I get no pleasure from being a martyr; please do not tell me how wonderful I was to them. Sometimes I didn't even want to do it. Often, it was a pain in the $(&*#. Other things were sacrificed. 

So why do it? Because it's right. Because they had no one else. 

To be that someone for someone: Hard. But I can't imagine a thing more worth doing.

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I wanted to share today's sunrise with you, the sight, the sounds. Watch, breathe, and please enjoy this beautiful day.

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