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Dear Queen Mama Donna,
You asked for an empowerment story:
In February of this year my 82-year old father had a stroke. He lives 3000 miles away. His wife decided not to call the ambulance, because Dad asked her not to. Maybe a little lie down would make him feel better. Through a roundabout way I happened to find out this was going on. I called her and got her to get him to the hospital.
Shortly after that I made plane reservations. Was told not to come. I shoved my inner child back into her fun place and let the Queenly grown-up speak. I Informed them that I was coming anyway and when I was arriving. It turned into a three week stay during which I spent every day at the rehab center with Dad doing my best to advocate for him when his wife could/did not. This included some very frank and uncomfortable discussions with physicians, doing all the driving, shopping and meals for his wife(who has her own health issues that she is in denial about), making sure the dog was taken care of, teaching Dad’s wife how to deliver insulin (don’t get me started on the practice shot that had 30 units of insulin instead of 3 – yikes!) and sundry other things that escape me at the moment.
At the end of each day, I spent approximately 45 minutes composing a detailed email of the day’s events, improvements, set-backs, plans being made and the reality of Dad’s condition as well as the reality of his wife’s inability to be “present” and able. This email went out to a large extended family (his children and her children – all adults) and had to be worded most carefully and candidly.
The short version of the above is that I rose to the occasion in ways that I did not realize I could, and maintained this successfully for weeks. My communication was clear and concise. I was able to deal with obstacles without raising my voice or being condescending, and was gently persistent until there was resolution.
I managed to get the attention and good response from people in authority. I was able to truly be the adult when I would usually defer to the parents. My daily email reports kept everyone in the loop without making anyone defensive regarding their parent. All along the way I encouraged everyone to be gentle and loving with each other in this highly charged situation. And most surprising, they all started to ask for and seriously consider my advice, including the most bossy “in charge” folks. Many family members expressed their thanks and how they don’t know what would have happened had I not been there.
My inner Queen served me well, and now I know that I can call on her when I need her.
* Please send me your thoughts about power. Also stories of your own empowerment. When shared, these ideas and examples are extremely inspiring to others. Thanks.
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to email@example.com.
CONSULT THE MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™
Queen Mama Donna offers upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity.