My oldest sister used to live with my mom. Her name is Pam. It's always been a question in the back of my mind as to where Pam would go when my mom would some day die. She's rather flakey and never really held down a job. She's also stubborn & doesn't take care of herself. She's one of those people who, when she's telling about life events, starts to add things to the account that aren't true. As is frequently the case of many people of that type, she tells her stories so much that she actually believes them.
During my high school years Pam caused me a lot of pain and misery and
we've never been close. However, during the past 10 years or so I've
come to a point where I just live in the immediate present where she's
concerned. Since I'm not able to change her behavior I don't mentally,
or aloud, get into things I think she's doing wrong with her own life,
my mom, or my mom's money. Since this change on my part, she and I have
had positive encounters when I visited my mom. When everything is
said and done she is my sister and I do love her.
As time went by Pam started receiving a small monthly check of around $560. As my mother aged it became useful that she had Pam living with her. Pam is now age 70.
My mom passed away in mid March. After much back and forth, Pam went to live with my niece Kara. Initially Kara had told Pam that her dog could come but it had to live outside. They had a dog house for the dog and another dog already lives there. The first day Pam moved in went well and the two dogs became friends. Pam convinced Kara to let Pam bring her dog inside. However, the dog has some accidents and Kara reverted to her original stance of the dog needing to live outside.
I'd been meaning to go visit Pam but hadn't gotten around to it. Ten days after she'd moved in with Kara I received this text from Kara:
"Well Pam wants out of there. I've been trying extremely hard to make this living situation pleasurable for her and she hates all of it. She is currently sleeping in our backyard with giggy (this is Pam's dog's name) when I asked her not to. It's just giggy that needs to sleep outside b/c he is ruining our house by going to the restroom inside. She wants to move out as soon as possible so if you have any alternatives that would be great! She has been name calling, lying to me, and going behind my back. She hates me and wants out as soon as possible."
Kara was at work when she sent me this text so we couldn't really talk then. I called another niece and talked with her. This niece gave me the details on what had been going on. I let Kara know I'd come take Pam to lunch the next day and talk with her.
As I thought about what I'd say to Pam when we talked I had a desire to just confront her and tell her that no one would be giving in to her tantrums as my parents had her entire life, that she needed to learn to give in to other people's needs. I wanted to emphasize how reasonable Kara is being and that Pam's not gonna find any place she can afford that will let her even bring her dog. I wanted to make her go take a shower the moment I arrived. But I prayed that God would give me wisdom and His words for Pam.
As it ended up Pam was waiting on the house steps when I arrived. I took her to a salad buffet place and basically waited on her since she has a knee that won't bend, she walks super slowly, and getting up & down is difficult for her. We had a nice lunch and sat for close to 30 minutes just sipping tea & talking when we'd finished lunch. I didn't end up being confrontational. I did manage to slip in that Kara has the right to make her own house rules, that it's warm in so Cal and her dog is fine outside, and that I don't know of another place she can find that would allow her to bring giggy. I was extremely diplomatic in the way I presented these things.
My husband John is out of town right now and we texted a bit later that evening. One particular text that he sent me really hit me:
"As you have done to the least of these...you've done it unto ME"
How I treat Pam is how I'm treating my Savior.
I never planned on having much to do with Pam after mom passed. But I felt impressed to, for the time being at least, go see her weekly. I believe that having someone befriend her and take her out once a week will assist her during this transition time. On the one hand since I'm not working right now I have time. On the other hand I don't have a lot of money. But still...I feel like this is what God's saying. He's the one who supplies my money ultimately any way. Also, the truth is that I do have enough money to do this for right now. Plus, we're going to inexpensive lunch deals.
So I guess for now I'm having weekly lunch dates with Pam and praying that God would somehow use me to make things better there
5 hours ago