Sisters, Continued

Bobbie Billups

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Wise Words

In order for this article to have any relevance it is necessary to summarize the “Sisters” article from the previous Creative Media Magazine, “Imagine.”

“Sisters” is an account of three sisters who were separated as girls. Two of them (1&2) went to live with their mother and her boyfriend while the eldest one (3) remained with the maternal grandmother.

They lived in two different households, totally separate lives. It was as if sister 3 didn’t exist.

Sisters 1 and 2 had a very close bond. After sister 2’s sudden death, the remaining two sisters started to forge a bond with connections to the past. Some of these moments were sad, some revealing and some very funny. Who would know that they had less than 5 months to catch up on a lifetime that they had spent apart.

So now there is one.

I thought that the previous article “Sisters” was complete and that it told a wonderful story of sisters reunited after years of separation. As fate would have it, this story is now being revisited with a much different ending.
To continue the story it is important to ask how does one manage to navigate these back-to-back situations since there is no tutorial or “how to” manual? Is it by being strong with the knowledge that time heals?; that’s not it!, or being the support coach for family members who are perceived as suffering; that’s not it!, how about just moving on because it is; that’s not it!, or perhaps believing that it is weak to wallow in pity and continuing to maintain the “circle of life” attitude; these methods are not it!

If not recognized and dealt with in a timely manner there are strong emotions that will come to the surface in a way least expected. Ignoring the moments of remembrances of the good times that cause sadness and the need “to just have a moment” can’t last forever. It is always the good memories that tug at the heart because the other memories that cause separation and strife just become so insignificant and unimportant to consider.

Stuffed emotions surface during the moments when you finally take time to rest your mind and meditate. That is when you realize that peace of mind is buried beneath the emotions that have been suppressed. So in order to get to that peace there has to be a breakthrough of the suppressed emotions. You can’t go over it, can’t go under it, can’t go around it, going through it is the only way to reach the peace and tranquility awaiting on the other side. Since that process is too painful the efforts of seeking peace are abandoned, but sooner or later and when least expected the dam will break.

The dam can break in the middle of the night by being startled awake by an overwhelming fear, heart pounding, and a hot and sweaty fear.

First, the fear of dying alone like sister #2 due to a heart attack crosses your mind. So reaching out and touching a hand for that human contact is the solution you find. Of course now there are two people awake and both are scared. The heart pounding and fear intensifies until the realization that medical attention is needed is reached because a heart attack is imminent.
Second, going to the ER in the midst of a rising pandemic is less concerning than the realization that this is the same scenario sister #3 lived just before her recent sudden death due to a heart attack. However, at that point, there was no other choice. Once at the hospital and after saying goodbye to a shocked and sad spouse at the door, Covid protocol, the efficient and organized routine can bring down the temperature and have a calming effect.

Almost as quickly as the heart pounding fear built it started to subside. What was thought to be a heart attack turned out to be GAD, General Anxiety Disorder, a fancy name for a panic attack.

Strong and capable people do not have panic attacks! However, sleep can be a betrayer and penetrate a wall of denial, and allow stuff to surface and make itself known and hopefully acknowledged.

The immediate solution is to figuratively get shot with a tranquilizer dart and to be sent along the way, hopefully with tools to explore the reasons for the attacks. Unfortunately, this medical climate prescribes chemically addictive remedies. The personal decision now becomes taking drugs or taking personal accountability to seek remedies that do not include drugs.

Some of the lyrics of the song “Jealous of the Rain” speak loudly because they talk about a loss and not necessarily just about a love loss, but any loss and the feeling of being left behind.

So the three sisters are now one. That one is jealous that they moved on without her, again.
However, they will have to catch up at another time because that 2020 Sister-Girls’ Road Trip has been rescheduled.


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