LESLIESENIOR
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Inspired to Share

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Spark friend inspired me to share a little bit after reading her honest and self evaluative blog. She has many emotional challenges landing in her lap all at once and her response is so uplifting.

I am grateful to be pursuing health, fitness, spiritual and emotional growth. It is allowing me to stay in the moment, focus on my own responses to situations, and prioritize my actions.

In the past month:
1. I have retired from a long and loved career. It was a very positive choice, but never the less, a big life change. I am prepared to meet the changes with gusto.

2. My father in law is making a huge transition in his life. He has sold his home in 4 weeks and moved out to a retirement home 1/2 mile from our home. It required many weekends and an enormous amount of patience and coordination for my husband and his 3 other siblings and spouses to pull this off. The majority of his care will now be my husband and my responsibility due to proximity. We are blessed to be able to care for him, even though it is stressful and requires diplomacy with the siblings.

3. My very complicated relationship with my biological family (the book I could be a movie of the week) has gotten even more "interesting" this month. Addiction is part of my family history and my story. Without going into any details, the latest chapter involves my baby brother stealing my baby sister's very expensive wedding ring two years ago. My mom had her ring remade when my parents divorced and eventually gave it to my brother in law to present to my sister upon their engagement. My baby brother has been in prison 3 times (long family story) and still lives contentiously with my enabling, mentally ill, 80 yr. old mom, at the age of 44. He is an accomplished thief, liar, manipulator, and abuser...... He has stolen from us all. (My husband and I have been good about boundaries to protect our kids when they were little) My sister, the only sibling that I have remained close to, allowed him to be a part of her family and visit, several years back, during one of his alleged sober periods. He proceeded to steal the ring from her bedroom. He denied it when she confronted him. Cut to the drama. My sister's husband went into our local pawn shop last fall to inquire about an exercise bike that he noticed for sale. While talking to the owner, he glanced down to see the wedding ring in the glass case. It is very distinctive and unmistakable. Long story short, again, he had the owner show him the records for the ring. There he found my brother's name and signature next to the exchange, as well as other expensive items stolen from my mom's home. (He has stolen her blind, taken her prescriptions, and run up credit cards over and over and over.......remember she is an enabler). My sister made a difficult choice and called the police. The detective didn't know if he could help, but, long story............ he eventually brought the case to the D.A. It has taken months, but my brother has been charged with a felony. This week I was called by the D.A. to make a statement about the history of the ring. My other brother was also called. We were asked to testify at the trial. This all sounds so crazy, I know, but my sister and I both believe that this may be the only way to stop my brother again, and possibly save his life. This morning the D.A. called and said that, faced with the facts of the case, my brother accepted a plea bargain, and will be incarcerated for 16 months in a State Prison. This has been extremely difficult, but my sister and I have stayed spiritually and emotionally bonded and clear headed. We know that we have made the right choice. Only God knows the results. I pray for my brother and my mom daily.

If you have followed this blog-a-thon, thank you for listening.

I agree with my Spark friend, life is too short to not find all the joy and happiness that is available on a daily basis. I can only control and be responsible for MY responses to life's events. I can only respond appropriately after deep prayer, meditation, and counsel.

Life is beautiful; there are miracles to behold; there is always hope, faith, and love.

Peace to you all tonight,
Leslie~ a grateful Sparker
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • 1_AMAZING_WOMAN
    Some people don't learn because they have no conscience. They can't 'grow' a conscience if they don't have one. It's called anti-social personality disorder. If he has that be prepared for more of the same when he gets out of prison.

    Amber
    2335 days ago
  • SHARIBEAR2
    Wow Leslie...you continue to amaze me with your willingness to be so forthright about the challenges you are facing and I applaud your wise and courageous response. I can only imagine how difficult. I said a prayer for your family today. May God bless you all.
    2336 days ago
  • MEADSBAY
    Hello dear soul sister-
    we could collaborate on that book as I have many similar stories in my family.
    Tough love is tough for all of us, that's for sure.
    Hold your head up high and know that you are living your own best life.
    emoticon
    2338 days ago
  • JUDIGIRL52
    As usual, during this dark time for you and your sister, you're catching and reflecting the light...just like the diamond that you are. Your choice, I believe, is not only the wisest, but the most loving. It can be so difficult to "watch things play out" but after making and acting upon the best choice possible, we must watch and wait to see what the Lord does with our humble offerings. I, too, have extended family saga that is fraught with addictions of varying kinds as well as crime and abuse. Hugs...and standing on the Promises with you.

    emoticon emoticon Puttin' on my shades cause you're shining!
    2339 days ago
  • EBEAMS
    Oh dear, Leslie ... I can totally relate to all of this and to the things that you didn't put down in words. My heart goes out to you with the accompanying reassurance that things happen for a purpose and often we need to let people suffer the consequences for their own actions. I admire your courage to put honest feelings in your blog.

    I hope clearing your emotional slate has made your burden lighter. I'll be praying for you, my friend!

    God bless ... and huge hugs! Eda
    2340 days ago
  • MEDDYPEDDY
    I admire you for the strenght you shown... if we all were able to be honest and stand up for the right things I am sure that many people would be tured in the right diection before it has gone so far.

    Thank for sharing!
    2340 days ago
  • AJDOVER1
    Addiction sucks. It's so hard not to feel anger toward the addict. You know that boundaries are crucial to protect yourself and your loved ones. Legal measures are often the wisest choice (but seldom the easiest). I hope your brother finds a better path.

    I'm so happy our paths have crossed here on SparkPeople. You never fail to inspire me.
    Hugs,
    Aurlie
    2341 days ago
  • MAESTRAPLANK1
    You are an amazing miracle of strength and inner beauty! You have reached out to me so many times in a very supportive role. I am so glad that you shared your life experiencess! You are in my prayers and I am so thankful you are my friend! emoticon
    2341 days ago
  • AWESOMECAROL55
    Leslie..thanks for sharing! i had no idea you had all of this going on in your life! Aaah..tough love..Yes you did the right thing for your brother but I know it had to be difficult. And you know i identify with the issues you are going through with your father-in law. Recovery is a journey..I hope your brother gets some help for his addictions while he is incarcerated. I'll pray for you and your family...things will work out!

    Hugs..Carol
    2341 days ago
  • SHERRY666
    THANK YOU FOR BEING SO HONEST AND BRAVE TO TELL THIS STORY OF YOUR BROTHER LESLIE....... WHILE I WAS READING IT I FOUND MYSELF GOING BACK TO LONG AGO...... AND THE SAME THINGS I HAD TO GO THROUGH WITH MY SON..... THAT IS A STORY I HAVE NEVER REPEATED........ IT'S SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE WE LOVE....... PEOPLE WITH THE SAME BLOOD... CAN DO THINGS LIKE THAT..... NOT ONLY ONCE.... OR TWICE BUT NUMEROUS TIMES OVER AND OVER...... LONG AGO I STOPPED TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT........ AS MUCH AS IT HURT I HAD TO SEND HIM AWAY TOO....... IT TOOK YEARS TO GET HIM ON THE STRAIGHT AND NARROW........ AT THE TIME I LEFT IT UP TO A HIGHER POWER...... AND I'M HAPPY I DID......
    2341 days ago
  • RUNNER12COM
    Everything more I learn about you makes me value the person you are that much more.


    2341 days ago
  • DREAMBIG59
    Leslie....BIG HUGS....thank you for sharing your story.
    2341 days ago
  • KANOE10
    Thank you for sharing. You have such strength to handle difficult family problems and to realize that you can control your reactions to events. Life is short and precious. Seeking happiness and joy on a daily basis is so important.

    I hope the 16 months will give your brother a chance to get over his addiction and maybe get some help.

    Moving your father-in-law to a retirement home was a huge effort. I hope he is getting used to his new living situation.

    I will keep you and your family in my prayers. You are doing a wonderful job of staying positive and staying focused on being healthy.

    emoticon
    2341 days ago
  • TRAVELGRRL
    I cannot even imagine the drama this has caused in your family. I hope you are not being cast as the "bad guy" by your mother or other siblings, because you surely are not the villian in this story. I hope your brother learns his lesson in prison. He will definitely have a lot of time to think. I taught in Michigan prisons for 17 years and know many, many men only needed "the one time" to change. I pray your brother is one of them.

    You are so right that we can only control ourselves. There IS much joy in life, but sometimes we have to look for it. You always do, and that's what makes you such a beautiful spirit.

    Thank you for sharing your story.


    2341 days ago
  • LITTLEBO
    I wish that I had your strenghth, Leslie.
    Thank you for sharing this blog.
    2341 days ago
  • BETHGILLIGAN
    You have certainly had a lot on your emotional and physical plate!!! We have some similar heartbreaking stories in our families. It is so difficult to deal with these issues and be as positive as you are. You are a constant source of inspiration for me. Thank you for sharing and being such a positive, upbeat model for us all.
    2341 days ago
  • MAMAWALMART
    Wow! After reading this, I thought we may be related. I can relate, only difference is it was my sister. But the police here couldn't do any thing. So I had her committed to a mental and drug rehab hospital.
    You and your family are in my prayers, as well as your brother. Only God can save him. I know this because my brother was on drugs and alcohol, stealing and lying for his habits. At 48 he was saved and has been clean ever since. I pray your brother comes to accept the Lord as his savior and gets his life on track.
    I pray you have continued success on your journey to a healthier you.
    God Bless and Keep Smiling
    emoticon
    Karen
    2342 days ago
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