My Own Sibling Tale

I have not been posting for a few weeks as I was back east. I flew to New Jersey to scatter my Dad’s ashes on a place called Lake Apsegami. But this gives me a chance to talk about something I am always asked when I speak. Readers want to know, did I write this book Mom Loves You Best about my own sibling issues. The answer is – in part I did. My brother, Stevie was 18 months younger than me. When we were little, I was jealous of him, taking my place .I bit his toes when he was in a cradle- or so I was told. I continued to bully him until he was big enough and fast enough to catch up to me on a bike. He was a sweet gentle kid who played a game with me each night when we were kids. We thought we were unfairly put to bed too early, and longingly listened to the neighborhood kids playing while we were stuck in our room. I guess my Mom needed a break. He was little Barry and I made up stories about him until we went to sleep. He was imperfect as we all are and died at the age of 42. My daughter Jill and I scattered Stevie’s ashes in Lake Apsegami, where my mother was scattered 5 years earlier when she died of cancer. Last week I took my Dad’s ashes and scattered him with my brother and mother, making them one with the Lake that was our family’s greatest joy. We spent each summer in cheap cabins built by the CCC during the depression, when Roosevelt make-work for the millions of unemployed. It was a stimulus program that worked 80 years ago and gave my family its safest harbor. So I did have sibling struggles yet great joys. Stevie was the brother who cared for my Mom as she died and reassured me, when I felt guilty for being the girl and not being the caregiver.” Cath”, he said,” I ‘ve got your back- “ and he always did.


About momlovesyoubest

Cathy Cress holds an MSW in Aging from U.C. Berkeley. Her new book Mom Loves You Best, Forgiving and Forging Sibling Relationships , New Horizon Press, was published October 2010. Cress’s book , Handbook of Geriatric Care Management, Jones and Bartlett, is the bible of geriatric care management and is out out in a third edition in February 2011 .Her book Care Managers, Working With the Aging Family, Jones and Bartlett,2008 is one of the few major books on the aging family. Ms. Cress is the founder of GCM Consult ,working with small and national who want to add or launch GCM businesses. She is on the faculty at the University of Florida in their on line master’s in geriatric care management -GCM . She has taught geriatric care management at San Francisco State University , UC Berkeley and teaches at Cabrillo College and San Mateo College. She was founder and director of Cresscare, a GCM business, for 25 years.
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