Saturday, December 26, 2009

Back Off, Mama Bear

On Christmas Eve my husband received a Christmas card from his brother. Before this card arrived, John hadn’t had any direct contact with his brother for something like 20 years. This is because, in his teens, the brother began to spiral down into a world of drugs and alcohol, as well as the things that go along with people who are desperate to get money for more drugs and alcohol. John and his parents tried to save his brother, but you can’t save someone who isn’t motivated to save himself.

We knew John’s brother had been in touch with his parents over the last few years, we understand he has been clean and sober during that time, and we know he has asked about seeing John, so I suppose this card wasn’t a complete shock. However, once it arrived, I began to do what I do best when I feel surprised and threatened: I over-react.

Fortunately, the following night was Shabbat, and about a quarter of the way through services I felt my anger and anxiety disappear. I realized I don’t have to be the Mama Bear right now. My husband is not my cub. He is a grown man, and what he needs right now isn’t my protection; he needs my support.

So it looks like next month John’s parents will drive down from Oregon, and we’re all going to meet John’s brother and his fiancée for dinner. And then we’ll see what happens from there.


  1. Good for you!! I understand that feeling. But remember forgivness is huge. And having a brother (or sisiter) AND a wife is a wonderful thing. I miss my brother, he died 26+ years ago. We didn't always see eye to eye, but there are times that I miss having him around. SO, hopefully everything will work out, family is so important.

  2. You're a strong personality and you made an absolutely right choice! Of course you should care about your dearest and nearest, but if they are grown-ups they must have a right to try and to make mistakes themselves especially when it's about your husband and his closer family;)))

  3. I wish your are OK. Remember forgivness is huge.