“All I want is compliance with my wishes, after reasonable discussion.”
Winston S. Churchill

(the dammit doll is ready for action / Julie Cook / 2016)

I’ve been in my car, driving back and forth to Atlanta a lot lately.

I’ve spent a great deal of time as of late in, out and around the ER.

The most recent being over the course of the weekend.
And no I’m not talking about working at the Emergency Room or being there on my own behalf.
I’m actually talking about my stepmother.
During the course of the past three months there have been:
4 emergency trips to the ER
2 via ambulance at 1300 bucks a pop
1 four day hospital stay
2 black eyes
5 staples in the crown of the head
stitches in one arm
a bruised shoulder….
Just think Yul Brynner in The King and I, when as the King of Siam, he would extol the goings on of things with a rousing round of
Etcetera, Etcetera, Etcetera……
Add in countless x-rays, CT scans, colonoscopies, EEGs, EKGs,
and any other scan, test or emergency procedure one can imagine….
And the thing is…. each and every last visit, test, stitch, staple, black and blue bruise…
were all entirely preventable.

A single word stands between her, good health and the well being of all concerned…


For you see we have set in place a care system for her wellbeing that if followed would result in health, happiness and longevity for not only her, but all of included in and around her as well.

Now mind you that this time last year, she actually asked for everything that is now in place….
With Dad having been the initially reluctant one of this twosome…
yet having seen the logic to the madness, is now happily on board.

Not so for my stepmother.

Rather than being compliant, cooperative, pro-active, she has opted to be contrary and defiant to each and every service, help and assistance offered.

She refuses to use the walker…end of sentence…
Preferring to weave and wobble, fall and bleed.
She refuses to allow the caregivers to assist her with any and all physical needs.
She refuses to take what meds have been prescribed.
She refuses to eat foods prepared.
She refuses to go out and about with each opportunity offered…preferring her self imposed imprisonment.
There have been proposals, insistence, pleading and demanding…yet she remains contrary as well as living with self-imposed misery.

Resulting in exploding medical bills due to accident after accident after accident…
As each new accident grows in damage and ferocity.
Yesterday’s trauma could have and near did kill her.
The collective summarizing is that the next one could be THE one…

We will meet Tuesday to put heads together one more time to formulate some sort of action plan…
before it’s all too late.

If she would just cooperate…. it wouldn’t have to be so hard on her and on everyone near and dear…
Nor would it be so scary or so miserable…

if only she would….

and that’s when it hits me….
the similarities with my stepmother’s defiance mirroring our own defiance with God as Father.

All of our own refusals along with our stubborn dug in heels as we ignore or refuse to adhere the protocols and procedures that He has put in place…
All for our well being and hoped for happiness of living…
If only we would cooperate following his plan… we just might not have so much suffering, trials and misery.

If only we could understand that being compliant with the commands, the directives for living, that God has put into place and just get with the program…life could be so much easier…for us all….

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

23 comments on “compliance

  1. dawnlizjones says:

    So very, very true. God bless you, Julie. You have a challenge. By any chance, is she having TIAs (small strokes) that are affected her personality and/or decision making capacity? (As well as her balance.)

  2. David says:

    Oh Julie, I can’t believe what you are having to deal with.

  3. atimetoshare says:

    We went through much of the same with both of our mothers and I fear I will be the same when I get to that point. I know we need to downsize our lives and make big changes, but I find change difficult. I know all the things I need to live the rest of my life comfortably are going to be difficult for my children to handle too. I’m as spunky as my own mother and will fight to the end to do things on my own and yet I don’t want to put them in that position. Such a conundrum growing old.

  4. LightWriters says:

    WOW…eye opener…and the message on ‘defiance’ is striking a chord. There’s a healthy and good independence, and then there’s just stubborn defiance — big difference. My heart goes out to you, along with prayers. Beginning to experience similar challenges with my own dear mom who at 83, almost 84 …drove herself to church in blizzard-like conditions yesterday…(she made it safely — thank God for angels!) It’s tough to let go and let God…

  5. Lynda says:

    Julie, my prayers are with you. It is a very difficult time and it is especially difficult for you because your stepmother’s behaviour affects your father so deeply and so you feel obliged to step in and try to make things work. I have friends who are in similar situations and it certainly is wearing. It is certainly a lesson for all of us.

  6. Nicodemas says:

    Yes for sure, praying for you and your family.

  7. I’m so glad you wrote this post and got it all off your chest. And you are so right about the defiance. That is the crux of the problem for all of us.
    We always want our own way. I’m so sorry that this saga is and has been going on for so long and pray that the meeting of the minds that’s upcoming will somehow resolve some if not all these issues. More via email. Love and hugs, N 🙂 ❤

  8. Wally Fry says:

    I suppose it’s hard, Julie, for some to come to acceptance that they just aren’t what they used to be. We might all be in those shoes some day. I can see myself being like your stepmother, so blessings in advance to my family.

    And prayers always for yours and the difficulty you face each day.

    • Thanks Wally—I know as well good that I’ll most likely go down swinging—but her’s is more than mere orneriness—there are some underlying unresolved life issues—one being faith with another family–the ones prior to ours—so we are picking up pieces–but the meeting today seemed good so we will see–different doctors with some tweaking of meds and empowering the caregivers more for starters—no matter how you look at it… bodies and minds that wear out are no fun for any of us….

      • Wally Fry says:

        Ah yes..pieces. Some legacies seem to go on for forever don’t they Julie? As one dragging around some pieces of baggage, I get that.

      • pardon the confusing typos as after any drive to and from Atlanta, my brain turns to mush 🙂
        and how I love your description—pieces…truly pieces of baggage—and might I add, I’ve been missing you over here as of late—that smiling face of your 🙂

      • Wally Fry says:

        Well thanks for saying that Julie! Got a bunch of stuff piled on me at work. They dangled a promotion and money, and now the ingrates expect me to actually earn it…sheesh! It’s settling down some now. I am all about systems and order, and I just had to get a routine. I like things to run on auto pilot if possible. Know what I mean?

      • I was a teacher for 31 one years Wally—if anyone gets routine and order, it’s me 🙂
        but then working with adolescents one my argue is there ever routine or order…well maybe not in their lives, but in my classroom for them…always

      • Wally Fry says:

        Totally off topic, but what the heck. You may have been the only order in the lives of many of the children that you taught, you know. Chaos rules in the lives of so many kids. Sadly, the schools don’t sometimes do as much as they used to to alleviate that.

      • So true Wally and I was bound and determined to be an anchor in the storm—no surprises–grounded in order and the rules needed to make that order flow for all. And that’s the thing in a classroom–rules are set so that each and every student may succeed and thrive–it’s when parents and kids begin to think some rules are for the other students as there should be other sets for them—-kind of doesn’t work that way and that’s what is wrong with education in this country today—so individualized that we have done a disservice to the whole….but I digress 🙂

      • Wally Fry says:

        Well, I started the digression LOL. And it’s your blog, you can certainly digress if you want to!

      • I am a digresser to be sure 🙂

  9. lljostes says:

    Sending up prayers for grace and mercy for all. Hugs ~ Laura

  10. Julie. Tough going. A friend of mine has something similar going on with her father who has been referred to by other parties as the old goat. Eventually stern talking to and spelling out the consequences which end with him being put in a home as it’s unsafe for him to live on his own, eventually worked. For a time at least. I hope you can find your solution.

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