fam stuff

So I guess I only missed posting on one day. It has been a very full few days. I have been pre-occupied with my concern about my Mom and my brother’s visit. Mom is struggling with increasingly severe clinical depression.

My brother arrived in time Wed to accompany us to the psychiatrist’s office visit Mom had scheduled. Somehow Mom had the impression we were taking preliminary steps to hospitalize her that day. I became aware of this when she made the comment, “Hope this fellow lets me come back here to live.”

I immediately assured her that was not what we were doing. I was happy my brother could meet my Mom’s psychiatrist. Always nice to have a face and an impression when talking about care-givers of your loved ones.

I also have been stressed about work.

Before my brother arrived on Wednesday, I lived through a luncheon and staff meeting. My boss and I have had many extensive analytic and strategic conversations around the issues facing our church community. I would say that most of the staff (besides my boss) finds me confusing and enervating to work with. Finding a constructive way to relate to them is exhausting.

For example, in the group exercise devised by my boss for the day, the second questions she asked us to answer to the group was “What would you have done differently last year?”

I of course went first and replied that was an easy one for me. I leveled my eyes at the children’s choir director and said that I would have not “yelled at Jennifer on Palm Sunday this year.” Brutal but true. Of course a group of uptight religious people had no idea what to do with this and in retrospect I’m not sure how constructive it was.

Religious workers who do not see themselves as professional have a tendency to be pretty fakey about everything. Our group has a lot of this. Needless to say no one else had such a revealing and intentionally vulnerable answer to that question.

I found myself practically “team teaching” with my boss as she led us toward a more clear vision of where she would like us to go. I checked with her afterwards and she assured me that my behavior in the meeting violated no boundaries. One of the things I am supporting in is an attempt to raise the bar of professionalism of the staff.

I came out of this meeting drained and exhausted. Waited for my brother to arrive for his visit. Then proceeded to take my Mom to her shrink appointment.

That was Wednesday. My Mom joined Eileen, Mark and me for a nice dinner at the pub. I say “nice” but it ended up being so hard for Mom that at one point she said to no one in particular, “I shouldn’t have come.” Moms. You gotta love em.

Yesterday’s trio rehearsal was a bit of disaster for me. I was a bit hung over from drinking my brother’s scotch (ahem). But even more hung over emotionally from the previous day.

It was therapeutic for about twenty minutes (the length of the Mendelssohn movement we began rehearsal with). But after that I continued to lose concentration, to come in and out of being distracted. My fellow players were predictably understanding and supportive. Oy.

Before rehearsal, Mark and I stopped by to see my Mom. She was being visited by her psych nurse who apparently had made her get up and get dressed. She was the worst I have seen her since her full fledged break down. She spoke in short sentences and had little affect. She claimed to have intentionally held back info from the shrink the previous day and kept asking all of us to leave so she could crawl into bed. Needless to say that didn’t happen quite that way.

Mark and I chatted with the psych nurse, Rachel, both of us meeting her for the first time. Hilariously I got confused in some of my comments to attempt to fill her in on what’s been going on with Mom. Couldn’t remember what happened which day. I remarked that I was failing my “cognition test.” (“Mr. Jenkins? Mr. Jenkins? Do you know what day this is? what month?”)

Finally when Mom was asking us all to leave, I suggested that Mark and I leave Rachel to it. After making sure that Mark wasn’t leaving town right away, she agreed instantly to remaining and working a bit more with Mom.

Mark and I had a late lunch together. I do enjoy his company but worry a bit about being too intense for him. I think it was excellent he was here for many reasons. First of all I do enjoy having him around. But also I think it helped when later we went back to see Mom again and he talked to her about his experience of clinical depression. Good stuff.

When we returned (expecting Mom to have continued to withdraw) she was sitting up dressed and reading a book. Although it was obvious she was still struggling with will to function issues, she actually suggested that she come to my house and have some “potato soup.”


So she did come over yesterday and spend some time here. Mark showed her the video the church that hired him prepared for the hiring process. This video is worth a blog post all by itself. It featured many parishioners and was revealing in interesting and amusing ways. Mark has got a good gig fer sure….. I can’t resisting mentioning that the church he is going to pastor sent a seminarian to the south during the Civil Rights struggle and took a bullet for another person and was martyred…. Wow!

Jonathon Myrick Daniels died in the sixties shielding someone from racial hatred in the south..... click on the pic for more info
Jonathon Myrick Daniels died in the sixties shielding someone from racial hatred in the south..... click on the pic for more info. His home parish is soon to be pastored by my brother, Mark Jenkins.

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0 thoughts on “fam stuff

  1. Leadership is the issue with the job. Good leadership is essential for an effective organization. Validation by the boss may be very difficult to receive if that is what you are looking for. It is good to expect the best from others, but realize that their best may not meet your best.
    I wish your brother well in his new venture.

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