Looking at the Visitation

This Friday my sister was coming to visit. For many people that wouldn’t be a red letter day. However this was going to be the first time my sister had visited and stayed at my home. (She came about 12 years ago for a funeral and stayed overnight in a hotel then was *poof* gone.) She was traveling here with her oldest child (28 yrs old) and a ton of stuff for our neighborhood garage sale! The timeline was a little compressed since her arrival was scheduled for only 12 hours before the sale starts. In preparation of the visit and the subsequent sifting of some of my mother’s possessions I had accomplished the following (deep breath):
1. Cleaned the garage and set up tables. We had to borrow from several family members to have places to stack stuff.
2. Cleaned the house. This was necessary since they would be sleeping in rooms we generally close off. The dust was thick (because I hate to dust).
3. I broke down and bought a new mattress for the twin guest bed. This was something I’d put on the “to do” list after son#2 mentioned that the bed was, in his words, a torture device. So the new mattress has been deployed and hermetically sealed in a mattress cover with an added pad.
4. All the basement junk had been hauled out to the garage to sell. What doesn’t sell will be deposited at the church rummage sale.
5. A menu had been formulated and a grocery list written. My sister is allergic to dairy (as in she carries 2 epi-pens at all times allergic) and maintains a gluten-free diet. This poses a few challenges.
6. A shopping trip to all the goodwill stores had been planned too.

Then she called. She forgot that this weekend is Mother’s Day and her child#2 had planned some special event (with non-refundable tickets) as a surprise. So the schedule is much easier. There is no mad rush to get my mother’s stuff priced or displayed. The menu is open to anything I want. And there is no last minute cleaning or laundry to do. I do understand but I’m still just a touch disappointed. We’ll just have to reschedule the visit. The garage sale will still happen and everything will get done without stressing. There is a much more relaxed schedule. And besides, Sparky is happy that I got most of the “spring cleaning” out of the way…

75 thoughts on “Looking at the Visitation

  1. I’m disappointed with you on the failed visitation, though I certainly understand why she had to recalculate for an occasion (as I see you do). I trust the timing will be better and less stressed for both of you when you refigure a new date and see it happen.

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    1. She’s talking about putting it off for another year! It will happen when it happens. Perhaps next year her husband will be available to visit too (he was teaching a college course and it was going to be over his unmovable final exam). On the bright side I don’t have to worry about the sleeping arrangements!

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      1. I’m going to pray it won’t take a year for you two to have some time together at YOUR home. I am. That’s because I’m taking a trip in June to Colorado to see my foster mother who turns 90 this autumn. And, this October I’ll be seeing my older sister in Georgia. We’re getting close to 70, and there won’t be so many trips in our futures. I have to do what I can while I have the resources and time to do them!

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        1. A wise move on your part… I don’t know what she plans but had mentioned coming next year for the garage sale. She is the only one still working so it is easier for my other sister and I to get together since we don’t have to juggle work assignments or worry about vacation days or sick time!

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    1. Thanks Punam. I’m almost done with all the cleaning – I have 2 tasks remaining: I need to take down the sheer curtains in the front window and wash, mend, and iron them (not a task I enjoy) and I need to get the outside windows washed (I need Sparky’s help as he doesn’t want me to use the pressure washer by myself). The garage sale is shaping up. We have two tables already set up and another one heading our way tomorrow.

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        1. Thanks Punam. The curtains are so old and were custom made so as the thread gives out I’m forced to repair instead of replace. Plus it is the more environmentally conscientious!

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  2. Everything has its upsides and downsides. It sounds like the push to get things done in anticipation of your sister’s arrival resulted in smooth sailing for you and the garage sale whether she was there or not. Cleaning and cooking to strict dietary specs and entertaining take a lot of energy, which can now be lavished on yourself. Your sister will come sooner or later and when she does, she’ll have a comfy bed and a dust-free, junk-free room to sleep in. Well done!

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    1. Hehe! No junk in the rooms but definitely lots of dust (which has already been eliminated). However I will now have to add those rooms to the cleaning and dusting rotation to keep them that way!! I think I’m going to keep the menu without the alterations… Spaghetti (using real noodles) has already been penciled in!

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  3. Disappointing for sure! Good luck for the sale! psst (all day yesterday I thought it was Mother’s day and wondered why no calls or text messages…🤦🏻‍♀️…. yet I wasn’t very upset in that I didn’t let it bother my mood! ha)

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    1. I mentioned Mother’s Day yesterday to a server at the restaurant son#2 and I had lunch at. She went pale thinking she had missed it for her mother and MIL! I had to assure her that it was next Sunday. Her relief was obvious. She gave us the most attentive service I’ve ever had at that restaurant!

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  4. Things like this are not fun at all but learning from it and seeing the hidden blessings (as you did) helps smoothen out the roughness. I’m going to take your wisdom with me and learn to focus on blessings!

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    1. Caitlynne I think you are an old hand at counting blessings! Some are disguised but underneath it all we can find the jewel of blessing. Hope you have a wonderful and blessing filled week!!

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  5. Hi Muri. It sounds like you might have an ambivalent sibling relationship, though I could just be reading into what you wrote, since I have an ambivalent relationship with my sister. There are undercurrents that make a simple cancellation into a bit more than a simple cancellation. And still all will be well….

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    1. Stephanie you are partially correct. There has been a sense of competition between this sister and the rest of us. She has always tried to “win” even if the rest of us shout “nolo contendere”. After my mother died, the reason for winning was gone. She has become pleasant and even fun to be around.

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        1. Thanks Stephanie! We are 3 sisters and all that is left on that side of the family (making me the matriarch) but on my father’s side I have 2 cousins older. However one lives overseas and does not share in the same anything as the rest of us – I think I’ve seen her twice in 40 years…

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      1. As I reread this, I began wondering if my sister would ever consider visiting me here — her idea of an invitation when she lived in Italy was that I could take a tour around the country and stay with her the night before my flight home!

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        1. That is sad. If I lived in Italy. I’d host all the family, room and meals and take them on a tour myself! (Maybe not all at the same time but definitely they’d all be welcome to stay with me – even if we had to use sleeping bags on the floor!)

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  6. I have no worries of Sister visiting. She didn’t when I lived five miles away so why should she when we’re almost 300 miles away? I hear from her once a year, Christmas, maybe twice if she remembers my birthday. Hope you get together with yours soon.

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        1. I think my mother was very pleased that as we grew up, married, and had families that we remained friends and that the cousins got to know each other.

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          1. I’m so pleased for you. I have nephews I haven;t seen in over 30 years plus great nieces and nephews I’ve never met. I am a great great auntie to a now 8 year old boy I saw at my niece’s wedding in 2017 and again at my Mum’s funeral in 2018. Not exactly a close family, but it’s the way it is.

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              1. It is sad, but not the end of the world. We have good friends, Bro in NZ rings me occasionally as I do him at Christmas and his birthday, and Other Brother contacts me sometimes, so all is not lost.

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  7. Oh well you can look at this way, in another 12 years she will be too old to travel for her next visit, and you can still correspond online without bothering with a garage sales. My wife’s oldest sister was a charming, lovable person but had (VERY) special dietary problems, this meant that on a visit, we fixed for us, then she went into the kitchen and cooked for herself.. This drove me nuts as she was not at the table eating with us. Wow, I tried my best to be nice but it bothered me, and maybe a long distance visit would have been better.

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    1. Hehe! I can relate. When we had the “sister’s reunion” at the end of February, meals were a circus with the menu being tweaked to accommodate the dietary restrictions. At least with her cooking we all ate together (just not necessarily the same food)!

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      1. This past Sunday I had my younger son Mark and his two boys over because it was his mother’s 80th birthday had she lived. Well each of the three made it clear to me what they would and would not eat. One no meat, another no salad, another no starch, Kids today dictate what they will and will not eat~! I reminded him that my mother put it on the table and if we did not like it we went hungry.. I ended fixing special food for each of all three then ate some of what each were eating. But the cake and ice cream with strawberries seemed to be eaten by all of us. Today I spent an hour cleaning up all the dishes and special wine glasses due to their having to use a different plate an utensil for each of those specialties… I of course enjoyed having them and will do it again, but people should just shut up and deal with what is on the table… I am a very good cook and aim to please, but not to self centered people who decide what not to eat.

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        1. That is super annoying – the picky eaters. My sister is allergic. So much so that she has to carry 2 epi-pens at all times. It is amazing what has milk in it! She can’t eat some cured meats because they process it with dairy. As for the gluten, everyone benefits when she avoids it as it give her terrible gas and diarrhea…

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  8. I have to admit I’ve never been to my older brother’s house in California. But then I rarely go anywhere. I hope she can manage a visit soon. (K)

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    1. Hehe! I’ve been to her house 3 times in 20 years to her once where she didn’t really stay with me – kind of a drive by visit! Anyway I guess it isn’t that uncommon a state… She is planning to visit next year (for the garage sale)!

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    1. I just have to laugh! My sister is so very much like our mother. Mother would make plans to travel to see me so I’d take time off work. The week before her arrival I’d call to get flight times and arrange to pick her up at the airport only to find that she hadn’t bought tickets and had changed her mind because she thought the weather would be bad or she didn’t want to reschedule a doctor’s appointment! So this doesn’t surprise me but it is a little disappointing. But I’m over it and it works out better anyway since the garage sale is such a rush and crush of activity…

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  9. Yeah, I’ve been clearing my bookshelves out and admitting to myself that there are many things I can’t learn, not that anyone knows everything.

    I doubt I’ll see much of my siblings when I go to a residential care home. I’ve been in those before. I don’t mind them. I feel bad already, but I’m going to have to not socialize with the older ladies. It’s a swarm of walkers if you’re under 50. They see me, and they think, “Grandchild!” or one to fill the void. I won’t be able to do anything, otherwise. Grandkids should visit.

    Being in society is too dangerous for me for one thing, as I’m vulnerable and attract predators, am exploited, or used. I’m tired of it. Mom can’t help. She doesn’t understand and will not work herself. The grandparents want their house back, so she has to move into the city. She also can’t live on her own very easily. She has my stepdad, thankfully.

    My mom is proof that you can have a high IQ (she really did) and not be a CEO. I don’t know about you, but where I’m from, they tell me with my little IQ of 116 that I owe them everything because they got a 140 or something. They deserve my opportunities, too. They have more potential, more to give, but they didn’t spend their teen years working while riding a bicycle to school and work, several miles, sometimes in so much pain that I shook, the cold, the heat, the others. I end up robbed all the time–in various ways, coming home to an abusive drunk and trying to help my siblings. I went into the army, too, to try to earn. Hence, the care home. I’m done with them.

    I mean, if I did have to lose what I earned, can I give it to my siblings? One of them recently scored a 140 for a job. All she said to me when I said “good job” was, “Doesn’t that mean I’m average?”

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    1. A sad state of affairs. I hope that you find a safe haven and that your siblings at least come visit you… It is difficult making big decisions especially ones where you have to let go of things and people who have meaning. Good luck Kaela.

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  10. I live in a bad area for things like that. Are they as such where you are? I mean, the Christians even pull that junk. They are like, “we’re rich (not really, but where I am is cheap), so God has obviously blessed us for being righteous. God chooses who to uplift and sees all. By their fruits you shall know them.” It’s like, didn’t God bless me with a pension and school? Apparently not, I haven’t earned it like they did and am stealing their tax dollars. If I have to stay here, I have to steer clear of Jesus’ followers and the “geniuses” who have more potential.

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  11. There is a reason for everything. I have been “overbooked” at times, and cleaning is maybe a 3 on a scale of 1-5, 5 being top priority. If visitors are coming, cleaning becomes a 5.

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