Last week’s events included my California family moving our elderly aunt to another care home-where hopefully she will get a better level of care. At nearly 90 years of age, she is getting to the point of losing her discernment and her ability to truly care for and defend herself. It is a sad state for those of us who can see the deterioration. With no other family, my aunt is reliant on nieces and nephews to see to her care.
Enter two of the most incredible women I know – my sisters. Yes, and some amazing cousins – but the point of this post is what these folks are willing to do to make sure those who cared for us while we were growing up are cared for in return. I could not be there in person so one of my sisters put me on FaceTime while they sorted and cleaned through our aunt’s remaining earthly possessions.
For hours, they sorted and cleaned through piles of hoarded tissues and napkins, assorted bits of fancy jewelry, partially eaten snacks, carefully written notes that were tucked in between pages of books, coins, and a host of small things that could be easily tucked here and there. They also had to sort through clothing, bedding, and linen – the dirty with the clean, some unwashed and soiled beyond belief. They had to wear gloves and I am sure they probably should have worn masks.
Despite the unpleasant, but necessary chore, my sisters remained good-natured. Instead of grumbling and fussing, they chose levity. From the outside looking in, one may judge the hullabaloo, joking, and laughter as cruel, but it wasn’t. They did their best and our aunt is better off because of their selflessness, but so are our hearts. There was no begrudging undertones, no tallying of accounts, and no finger-pointing. They became my heroes that day because I’m not sure I could have done what they did.
My love and admiration for my sisters swells in my heart. They are my new heroes.
P.S. I have a pretty awesome brother-in-law too! All he would say is “Pshaw! – we do it for love“.