There have been some amazing things going on in my life since July 4, 2011, some good and some bad and some just mind boggling.
My brother is still not speaking to me but he is making tiny gestures of reconciliation towards our mother, for which I am glad. She is 89 years old and heart broken by the life he has chosen to live. I would not wish her to be estranged from her only son. If whatever time she has left on this earth means I just step back and swallow a lot of guff, so be it.
And truth be told I have forgiven him for his lies and his abuse. I am still working on forgiving the woman he shares his bed with but that is tougher - she is the source of the lies and the conflict and the pain inflicted upon his family. I am really putting my knees to the floor and pointing my face towards heaven on this one and the best I can do right now is to tell God that I really REALLY want to forgive her. I do...I am willing to be a good person. Unfortunately, right now I am not a good person because I am also willing to back over her with a tractor and say, "Ooops."
In my 12 Step program people wiser than me have suggested that right now I say the following prayer, "Dear Lord, please grant her exactly whatever You believe she needs in order to have a happy life". Again, this is better than the prayer I would like to say, which is, "Dear Lord, a little divine retribution towards both of them right now would be greatly appreciated. Amen".
Hey, listen - I would not want to be given exactly what I deserve so why would I pray that someone else get the same thing?
And I suppose it is a sign that I am really human and not an angel that my heart still hurts over this situation. Frankly, my heart hurts because my only brother has chosen to believe a lying, manipulative woman who is using him for a place to stay and money instead of his sister - the sister who was thrown across a room when he was 4 because she tried to keep him from being beaten by our drunken father, the sister who has been there no matter what whenever his relationships have blown up in his face, the sister who buys clothes for his children or pays for those extras not covered by their parents.
Damn...there I go again.
My goal is to be able to love him without wanting him to say he is sorry. I am not there yet. I love him, but I want to hear him say, "I am sorry I believed her. I am sorry I told my children lies about you. I am sorry I hurt you".
That is not going to happen...I need to move on and that is the focus of my weekly trips to the Confessional and my daily prayers. I have GOT to grow in holiness or this is going to keep me in Purgatory a very long time, no matter how many indulgences I try to rack up.
Ok, moving on to the good stuff:
About seven months or so ago I said (while sitting in a meeting) that I had never been given a step increase in my wages since coming to work. I took it for granted, I said, that no one was getting step increases because I had been told our wages were frozen.
Apparently, that is not what is meant by 'your wages are frozen'.
This past week I picked up a check for 4 and a half years of back wages and starting next paycheck I will be paid 750.00 more a month than I have been paid.
Thank you, Jesus.
I will be paying off about three credit cards, putting money aside for that trip to swim with dolphins Jillian and I are planning for next summer AND (this is a secret) might have a down payment on minor plastic surgery needed after the weight loss stuff is done. In other words, I may not have to have flappy lose skin on my upper arms. I don't really care about the rest of me because no one is ever going to see me naked but gee it would be nice to not look like a flying squirrel when I wear a tank top.
I know, I know...too much vanity.
I was also able to purchase my MacBook Pro and a new printer (wireless - I can print stuff from my office!) . I had been saving for three years and I was within 300 bucks of having the 2 grand necessary to walk into the Apple Store and buy it without having to finance even the software I wanted (microsoft office suite and mac version of final draft).
The best part of this is that my retirement is going to be better. Now, I may not retire until 2013 instead of 2012 but that is only so I can get one full year at the top step of the pay scale....thank you, Jesus.
Interestingly enough, while I have been second guessing myself for the past four years because I was getting paid so little for such a tough job, I have also been forced to really live within my means. I was determined that, if I was going to have such a small retirement, that all my stuff would be paid off and I had gotten all the loans down to three credit cards (two of which are gas cards that made it possible for me to come to work when the gas spiked in price three different times). Now I will be able to pay those off. I will have one student loan left (federal - very low interest rate), my house payment and my car payment and that is IT!!!!
I might be able to get my hair done every three months.
SO...life is ok. Oh shoot - life is GOOD. I am healthy and happy about everything but my brother and even that is just pride on my part. When I can learn to detach from him it won't matter that he treats me with such disrespect. I will be able to look at him like Jesus must look at all of us - we treat Him with such disrespect and He loves us anyway.
Which, believe it or not, is my goal. I want to get to heaven. I want to spend eternity with Him. It means letting go of the idea that somehow I should be treated by people better than He was treated - and I pray for the ability to love those who do not deserve my love.
Keep me in your prayers, everyone.....I will keep you in mine.