It was easy for my mother to give, and she gave a lot. It was, on the other hand, hard for her to receive. And she made it hard for us, her children to give to her. She made it hard for anyone to give to her.
To carry a package for her was a struggle, for example. "It's all right," she would say, "I'll do it." Eventually, if we fought enough, and she could let us help her carry a bag of groceries, we were worn out by then so that any joy we might have had was gone. There was something in my mother that she had to do things for herself.
Now that I know more than I used to know, I expect that now, if I were fortunate enough to have my mother, I would know how to make things easier for her. Heaven Admin would know. I can picture Heaven Admin taking a package out of her hands and making her smile.
My mother worked hard and long in the store, and she would come home and do the dishes. Once my sister did the dishes for my mother, and my mother wasn't happy. My sister meant to do a good thing but somehow it wasn't. My sister must not have done them right, and there was even a fight between my mother and sister. Receiving was a deep deep issue for my mother.
What this meant was that we always left the dishes for my mother.
With my father, on the other hand -- it was easy for him to receive and therefore easy for us to give to him. He took great joy in our giving. Big or little giving, he was happy. There was no mistaking his joy. If he had been my mother, and my sister had done the dishes, he would have been in 7th Heaven and jollied my sister about it for weeks, and she would have been in 7th Heaven too.
I remember as a little girl running up and down stairs eagerly for my father, to get him his glasses or the newspaper. I would not have been denied the opportunity.
And when my father had heart trouble, it was easy to take care of him. He wasn't the least bit demanding, yet how happy he was when we got him his medicine or a glass of water. I will tell you, he didn't have to ask. He took such joy in being taken care of, he had no resistance whatever, so all of us children were happy to do anything we could think of to do for my father. If you made him anything to eat, according to him, whether it was or wasn't, it was always the best thing he had ever eaten!
My father had asthma, and I can remember one time, my brother Sid and I were up in the middle of the night with him. My father couldn't breathe. We couldn't find his asthma medicine. We gave him aspirin and never let on that it wasn't his asthma medicine, and it worked. He could breathe and get back to sleep.
I think receiving hasn't been given the attention it deserves.
I will have more to say about this in another blog entry.