Saturday, August 12, 2006

Acceptance / Failure / Defeat

During an interview, Robert Schuller once asked Larry King "What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?"

That question struck a chord deep within me, and has guided my actions whenever fear of failure starts to rise within me.

This week began better than expected. She accepted that she was the cause of her condition, that 12 years of self-neglect had culminated in malnutrition so severe she was diagnosed with the 'wet' version of beri-beri and three bleeding ulcers, one of which requires surgery once she quits smoking.

It ended in a courthouse. I stood before a judge and stated that unless my sister gets the help she needs, I expect by the end of the year I'll get a phone call to come bury her. It was a last ditch effort. It failed. I expected it would, as it is difficult to force committals, but I had to try. I would not be able to live with myself if I didn't attempt everything I possibly could before going home.

Part of me is being hardnosed. I refuse to become part of the problem... I refuse to become another person enabling her to stay sick--and in doing so, help her die. I will not be another person watching her slowly spiral downwards. I will not be the wind beneath her wings as she does so. Is this Tough-love? Self-preservation? Or insanity? I went there to help her, but I soon realized that the help I could give was not the help she needed... and my sense of failure is tied to the fact that she is no closer to getting the help she really, desperately, needs...

My only hope is that my attempt to force her into the care she needs will make her angry enough to decide she wants to live, to prove me wrong. Even if it means she hates me for the rest of her life...at least she would live.

Only time will tell...

It is a beautiful afternoon here at Bradley Airport, maybe 75F, low humidity, few clouds. The sky is blue, a pastel blue so different from the azure skies at home. Trees everywhere, not a mountain in sight. I miss the volcanos. I miss Mt Hood and Mt St Helens. I miss my spot on the river, the scent of incense cedar and noble fir, the community garden full of flowers. In 24 hours I'll be ensconced in the comfort of my life, enjoying the beauty of my home--and waiting for that fateful phone call that means I will miss my sister for the rest of my life.

What would you attempt even if you knew you would fail?

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1 Comments:

Blogger zezrie said...

Hey K,
You had to try. here's a hug.
Zezrie

1:44 PM, August 12, 2006  

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