Has anyone every said to you, "you've always been the strong one in the family"? Or perhaps, "I never really worried about you". I got that a lot growing up and again last week. It seems my family has always thought of me as 'the one' who'll always be there to breathe some positive air into things. They see me as the one to 'make things right'. It's a little like Neo being told he was 'the one' to save the world in The Matrix. Yep, talk about pressure. And to make things even stranger, I'm the youngest in my family. ***rewind to a few years ago*** For the past 3 1/2 years my oldest sister lived with my Mom(73) because she was 'unable' to take care of herself. She's had a colored past, painted with spousal abuse, alcohol and depression that she never dealt with. My Mom, who herself lacks self-worth, always saw her purpose as her children and never did anything for herself. Sounds selfless but as the years progressed she's become more internally bitter about it. My mom is the martyr of all time! Throw into that my drug addicted nephew, whose son also lived with my Mom for 2 years and my nephew himself who made his home there as he rehabilitated and you have a mess of confusion. *heavy sigh* I've always loved my family; still do; but I avoided getting directly involved in their lives. Instead I always tried to do what made 'me' happy. I always tried to live by example but what I wasn't counting on was the guilt ego instilled on me for not directly helping them.(or enabling them depending on how you look at it) but I trudged forward, always thinking, 'I can't control their lives. If they ask my opinion I'll tell them. Otherwise, I'm just going to do what I 'feel' is right for me. I can't live in the past even though they all choose to. What I didn't count on was that I was indeed living by example and even though I didn't know it, it seems they were paying attention. I never shut them 'out' of my life. I never didn't love them. I was always kind. I just chose not to live there among that negativity. ***fast forward to a few days ago*** My Mom had the opportunity to move into an independent living facility where two of her sisters already make their home. But she fought it because of my oldest sister. "Where would she go?", Mom asked. I got letter after letter from my sister saying, "I know it's the right decision for Mom but what am I going to do?" I just kept saying, "hon...you can do whatever you want". "This is 'your' time". Take this and run with it. Change the way you look at it. This is a good thing. And I'm happy to report that my sister is now getting the help she so desperately needed and my Mom is now living in a wonderful apartment starting to come around. It's funny...really. Just when you think you're not making a difference; you really are. There's no pressure being the one everyone counts on. I'm just living my life. I was so happy I didn't waiver in my positive outlook on things. I didn't get caught up in the mire of misery and doubt. Even though at times I felt like my heart and head was going to explode I just kept thinking, this is right...this is the best... it will work...I have the strength. ****now**** I just heard from my sister and she's doing well. She's now in therapy just now starting to realize all the things she's been missing. Mom? Well she was laughing on the phone like I hadn't heard her laugh in years. Me? I'm just living my life, on purpose. And if we do it with unwavering love and kindness, people 'will' pay attention.