Being the baby again

I’ve been able to escape many of my work responsibilities during recovery, but today I had to check and finalize a form for the grant’s next installment.

It was painfully difficult. The accountant had made some calculations that I knew weren’t correct. I went over and over the numbers to make sure I had done everything right. Then I corrected the form. Then had to figure out a diplomatic wording for the email when I sent it to the donor.

It was less than two hours of work, but I felt as though I’d been working for 16 hours.

My reward was great: Tom arrived with my big sister Ann – and a load of Mexican food from our favorite nearby restaurant.

Ann has always been like a second mom to me – and better than our first Mom, in some ways, because she didn’t criticize or reprimand me. She’s one of the most nonjudgmental people I know.

She was 12 when I was born, and as her maternal instincts were just starting to develop, she thought it was great to have a baby to take care of.

She was in college when I started elementary school. I wrote her little notes, and she always wrote back. I got to spend a few weekends in Cleveland with her, and she bought poetry books for me that I still have.

Ann has always encouraged me to be myself – supported my sensitivity, my writing, my art, my travels.

When I was hit with the aneurysm, all three of my sisters and several of my friends volunteered to fly to Atlanta and help Tom take care of me.

We resisted at first. But Tom has an important business trip this week that was rescheduled from Nov. 17. So having Ann stay with me is perfect.

I can be myself, even though I’m weak, screwed up, and not worth a damn as company. I can be the baby sister again, now that Ann’s here.

Today’s penny is a 1967… When Ann was in college and I was still her baby.