QUESTION: Hi Jean,
My brother, Eli and his wife, Ana Came by my home. I hadn't seem them in many years and I was surprised to see them. Was there a particular reason they decided to stop by? I don't have contact with my mother and I hope they didn't come because she encourage them to. My mother is nosy and like to gossip and so I hope she is not behind their visit.
Thanks. Martha is my name June 19, 1968. My brother and his wife are around my age also.
ANSWER: Hi, Martha,
I don't think your mother was behind the visit from your brother. At midlife many of us are recognizing that life is short, our parents are getting older, and our siblings matter. This could mean re-establishing ties, mending rifts, setting boundaries or any number of things.
It feels like Eli has had a troubled relationship with your mother, perhaps more than you thought. I think she and Ana have been at odds as well. He has done some reflecting on all of this lately and would like to (re)-establish a relationship with you. He's not sure how to do that, though, so he and Ana just showed up. So maybe it was an awkward beginning, but a beginning nevertheless.
I would suggest continuing to see and talk to Eli and Ana in a way that feels comfortable . . . and trust your own intuition. If there is something less than sincere about Eli and Ana's reappearance in your life, that will become clear.
All blessings to you . . .
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
I can't express enough how grateful I am for your answer. I had a little chat with Anna and I hope it helped her get a long with my brother.
She kept saying that my niece, Yvette, (my other brother's daughter) listens to me. So I'm concluding that my sister-in-law, Anna, wants me involved with her two daughters because she thinks they will listen to me also. Anna's daughers name are Janis and Marie. All three of my neices are 27 to 28 years old. Yvette doesn't listen to anyone except me. I really don't know why. Do you think I will be a positive influence in Janis' and Marie's lives also?
I also appreciate you giving me advice about setting boundaries.
Just can't thank you enough.
Thank you so much for your feedback, and you are most welcome! It feels like you have a special connection with Yvette. I see a sense of purpose and grounding in her that resonates with you and vice versa. Like you, she questions the dynamics of your family and is exploring alternatives.
Both Janis and Marie seem to be struggling a bit. I am about your age and see that with a lot of young adults . . . even the most intelligent and goodhearted flounder amid 21st-century details and distractions. And of course the economy tanked at a really bad time for your nieces (and my 20-something godsons). It feels like Janis in particular is having a lot of trouble concentrating, especially career-wise, and some personal drama (like with a boyfriend/girlfriend) distracts her from career exploration and decision making. A nudge in that direction could help. Marie seems more focused but less sure of herself, and I think you could really offer some encouragement here.
So, yes, I think you would be a good influence on anyone. These young women, like all of us, have to find their own groove — but a caring aunt is a great asset.
All blessings to you and your family —