Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Your Advocate, your mentor

No matter just how old you are, we all need an advocate of our own
If you are lucky, those mentors will be your parents and in some fortunate cases a healthy parent in their eighties can still parent a son or daughter who are approaching their sixties.
My mother died not long after the millennium, my father back in the late 1980s, so since then and to be honest since I was a child, my mentor and advocate has always been my elder sister, Ann

No matter just how old you are, its nice to have a protector
I remember when I was in my thirties and I brought my husband to be home for the first time my sister was gracious and welcoming and warm and funny
It was at a family meal and as we got into the car to leave she followed us to the road to say goodbye.
There was lots of  cheek kissing and hugs at that farewell and just before we drove away my sister leaned through the passenger window at my husband to be and smiled sweetly
"Don't you ever mess him around" she warned not unkindly but the subtext was clear to all of us
"For if you do, You 'll have me to deal with!"

who is your advocate?


71 comments:

  1. My husband, daughters and two best friends.

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  2. Yep. My sister is my best friend and guardian angel.

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  3. One of my sisters is 8 years older than me. When my mom was pregnant with me, our then 6 year old sister became paralysed and eventually died of a brain tumour. Naturally all my mom's grief came out in me and I was a horrible baby. So my older sister virtually raised me while my mom dealt with her grief. Many years later, after she had found out that my husband routinely beat me up, she grabbed him by the scruff of his scrawny neck and pinned him up against the wall in front of his parents and said "you touch her again you bastard and I'll kill you!"

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    1. now that's what moms should do,
      thank you for sharing that

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    2. Now that's a good Mom!!

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  4. I'm more a mentor than a mentee. People come to me, they think I'm reliable.

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    1. me too. I have to rely on myself, but that makes me stronger.

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  5. My dad was mine,I felt very safe with him in my life but when he died I was a very young 30,I didn't cope well.My cousins advise me at times and friends-big I still ask my dad for help and I feel stronger from sensing his words,wherever he is x

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    1. I like this curveball of the subject
      howmany times do we chat to the dead?

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    2. I think we just have to sit quietly and ask for advice and it may just be a reasuring "you will be ok""you'll get through this".I know both my parents are supporting me 30 years on-they both believed in people still being around us after death.My dad who seemed very sensible saw a ghost and mum had contact too.My dogs have returned also x

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  6. Barbara Anne6:12 pm

    My Dad was but he died when I was 32, so for a good long while now, it's been my husband and two grown sons. At work, I had wonderful doctors and nurses to learn from and knew I could rely on them in a crunch.

    I'm glad you have your older sister to go to bat for you!

    Hope Winnie is healing and is leaving her wound alone.

    Hugs!

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    Replies
    1. I have just redressed it
      and it looks dryer

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  7. When I was a child, it was my sister, but she moved across the ocean when she was 21 and I was 18, and then died less than 9 years later. Except Jerry, I haven’t really ever had anyone else like that.

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  8. I am the older sister. It was very painful to step away from my little sister when she stayed with a manipulative and abusive partner for many years(and kids) We are there for each other now, though she lives far away.

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    Replies
    1. sometimes older sisters are the mothers we should have had...mine was

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  9. I can honestly say I have always been my own if that is possible, or that I have had nobody. My brothers have been my friends but never my advocates.

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  10. Both my brother and sister were much older than me (11 and 22 years respectively) and it is many years since they died (I am 87) but that doesn't mean I don;t need a mentor sometimes. Often it is my son, sometimes one or other of my dearest friends.

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    Replies
    1. your son sounds like a trouper..i like the way he and you shared watching and participating in UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE the other night

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  11. I can't remember anyone - including parents - both long gone - mentoring me. I've always had to manage what I did myself - thank God - it's made me very self reliant and independant

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    1. there is something in what you say
      but I am sure there is someone in everyone's lives that ticks this box. Some Atticus Finch?

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    2. I agree , Sue! My parents had no notion even about nurturing or mentoring, they'd have thought that was modern nonsense. And since that was never offered, I learned to be self-reliant.


      lizzy

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  12. No advocate or mentor here.

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  13. Replies
    1. my sister?
      hummm I wouldn't cross her

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  14. No advocate or mentor, a difficult childhood meant I didn't have the ability to get close enough to anyone to be able to speak my feelings. It does make you more self sufficient emotionally although now I'm in my 70's the thought of someone to turn to does make me sad knowing that won't happen for me now. Friends yes, close confidantes no.
    I usually comment with my name but this time I'll remain Anon.

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    1. bravely shared my friend
      if u need anyone there are a few of us here! x

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  15. Excellent post/message.
    My parents died in ‘78, (dad) ‘96,(mom) . . . they each were advocates, more my dad though as I think about it.
    Today, my daughter, son . . . more my daughter.
    My friend Jackie . . .
    This has been good for me to think about . . .
    No surprise, you often give me “thinkers!”
    Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. I watched her as she made her fat pony yesterday and thought she had never stopped being in my corner for 58 years!

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  16. First and foremost was my father. When he passed it was mum but not to the degree of Dad. Now they have both passed over it tends to be me helping other people although saying that I have some very good friends that I am blessed with. In reality though sometimes I am the mentor and sometimes the learner. I don't find it easy to ask for help at the best of times, but we need how to do both. You are lucky in your sister. xxx

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  17. My dad was always in my corner and I feel his loss deeply, especially as my brother has become estranged from me. I have a couple of close friends, but no one who for me is truly there like my dad was.

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  18. I am the eldest sister; thus I was always the advocate / protector / big sister don't you mess with my sister or brother mentor in my family. Until recently, I was close as can be to my baby brother, who all his life had a grudge against my other sister. I kept the course calm, as best I could, all my brother' life (he turned 47 in 2019) and did what I could to be sure my brother treated fairly when my mom passed in Nov 2019 (I had been executor of my parents' wills for almost 40 years and then in 2007 my parents decided, as my sister was living in FL at the time & I had moved 6 hours away, that it would be better if sister made executor... and as you might imagine...my brother felt he wasn't treated fairly in the will by my Mom (who inherited my father's estate in whole and she was very specific in her will who was going to get what and I was named on an insurance in my name only and my sister in another policy her name only and my brother not named at all on those two policies because my brother inherited my parents home and my sister & I gifted to him the cost of the fair market value he should have paid for the home to estate - I didn't want him to have to pay for it as it needs so much work. And He recieved $10,000 check. And he felt I didn't advocate enough for him and that I could have 'stopped' my parents from changing their executor and from writing the wills they way they did (and believe you me my parents had a great attorney and the wills were very well written and we were lucky NO PROBATE because the house is a manufactured home and not valued as property like a regular house!) and he has tried to get my elderly aunts / uncles to rally behind him against me & my sis and has basically told me to drop dead and never wants to see me ever again - that I am 'dead' to him for 'not making sure he got more in the will. (that I had no control over). Sorry for the tangent, John. Families...

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    1. yes I may be unlucky in my marriage but I have been lucky with my family x

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  19. "EX-husband"! So...did your sister kick his ass when he broke up your marriage? Or was it just all talk?

    As for mentors, I have no parents or husband, I rely on myself, right or wrong.

    lizzy

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    1. she has supported me magnificentlyxxx

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    2. and not quite ex husband

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    3. he was ex the second he walked out the door. Distance yourself!

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  20. When I was growing up my grandmother. She was strong and one of the few people who stand up to my mother.

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  21. My dad John. Although my mum gives me great advice and I love her more than words can say, dad and I share the same sense of humour (naughty), we think the same and share the same interests. I am the eldest of three girls and my little sister remembers so much more than me about the times I took her out on trips or shopping, she's always calling me for advice so I guess I'm her mentor xx

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  22. Heather9:34 pm

    My parents met and married when they were 34. I was born a year later. Both were only children. My sister is 7 years younger. Dad died in the 80s. I was close to my Mum who died in 2001. My husband served 31 years in the Navy and having 3 children you do have to just get on with things. My Father in Law is in his mid 80s with the energy of someone 30 years younger. He is great, we share interest in Family History and have adjoining allotment plots.
    I don't know about mentors but my sister and her husband and our 3 children are always there for each other. My sister is a best friend.

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    Replies
    1. am loving these snippets of everyday lives

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  23. My eldest and youngest daughters have advocated for me on several occasions. I know they have my back.

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  24. I've never had an advocate either, my nasty, controlling ex made me the strong, competent woman I am and for that and my daughter I thank him.
    I am the older sister, having 4 younger siblings but I wasn't an advocate for them either, I just wasn't up to it, though I did practically bring up my youngest sister who is 15 years younger than me.

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  25. My eldest daughter. Sadly she died last year I haven't learnt how to cope without her yet
    Jan

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    1. So sorry for your loss Jan.

      Jo in Auckland

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  26. Oh my, she gave him "the shovel talk!" She really was your protective older sister, LOL!

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  27. My husband, and if there is a medical situation involved, it is my husband, and my daughter, who is an RN. She knows what questions to ask the doctors,nurses, and even physical therapists, and she can easily clarify any questions my husband has.

    When my husband was in the hospital with a very serious condition a few years back, I and my daughter were his advocate.

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  28. my kids are great supporters but they dont exactly advocate. i think i advocate for myself and dont do particularly well at it

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  29. The big guy is my advocate. I know he's always got my back.

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  30. My dad, gone too early at 75.
    My best friend from college, he died too early too at only 61 after over 40 years of friendship.
    Now I'm there for others..but you always need someone there, even if it's thinking Now what would he advise?

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  31. Anonymous3:01 am

    I don't ever remember having a mentor. I was always the strong one who took care of everyone else. I still am.

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  32. My mother was very wise, otherwise I can't really think of anyone. I've made all my own mistakes.

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  33. My mother, 90 in Msy.

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  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  35. My mum is amazing but when I was young and locking horns with her (because I was a stubborn diva) it was my cousin Robyn. She's about 15 years older than me and has always felt more like an older sister. I still value her input. She is also a senior nurse! I have tried to pay it forward and have a few young people who I mentor and look out for.

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  36. My sister was always my advocate, mentor and best friend. There is a 10 year age difference between us so she was like a second mother to me. She taught me how to tie my shoes, silly dances and how not to get in trouble with our parents;). Her body and mind are now ravaged by parkinsons so I am now for her what she always was to me.

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  37. I'm another with no advocate of my own, well I did have but she died in 2004. Since then I've been an advocate for lots of other people, but tend to have to sort things out for myself and self psycho-analyse situations as they arise.

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  38. I think I am my own advocate now if that is at all possible... there has been no one else since my Nan died when I was 14. She always stood up for me when Dad was having a moan. I advocate for many other people on a regular basis as, working with the elderly, they often cannot speak up for themselves.

    Jo in Auckland

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