Difficult Times (an ode to my sister)

The following is a disjointed, rambling stream of conscious blog written in the early early hours of the day. I am jet-lagged and sleep deprived but I persist.

Half political, half sentimental follows.
I was on Facebook overnight unable to sleep and bored. It occurred to me how comforting that my sister hates trump. My whole family actually hates him. But my younger of two sisters I refer to has been the back-up matriarch of our family with her demand for control, her attention to detail and her love and affection. It is a bonus and I love that she is not only an extraordinary care-taker but frequently surpasses me, on social media, expressing her total disdain for trump and her admiration for progressive values.

I am the baby of a family of 4 siblings. I have had my challenges with each of my 2 sisters and one brother. I considered resigning from my family of origin at one time but ultimately decided that I belonged.

It is helpful that this sister has been the glue which was needed as my parents aged and died. I have seen memes for family members to show appreciation for each other but my sister deserves more than a meme.

When our parents pass it often leaves us children, despite being grown, feeling vulnerable and abandoned. It is my gift to be a member of a family that has a core of affection and cohesion which sheltered me from the ill-effects of parental loss.

I am mentioning this because I know so many families now torn by politics and many more who fight with each other over the late-life care and passing of their parents. My family has successfully navigated the loss of both parents and the election of trump. Two potential family crises.

My sister Karen was the rock during my mom’s final health crisis. I am spared long term guilt, about being a son so distant, about my mom’s care because my sister was ever attentive and present. I was constantly assured my mom was in good hands getting the best care.

I am the only tattooed, drug addict, gun toting Buddhist in my family. But no matter how strange and far I stray from my origins, I have never been shunned/rejected by my family. Sadly so many of my peers have not been so lucky.

Values are important to me. My 3 siblings all have humanistic, progressive values at their core. We don’t fight over gay rights or universal access to health care or civil rights for all. (They hate guns but none of us is as rabid as we used to be on the subject)
I don’t envy those that come home to visit a household airing Fox News.

May all families know the affection and respect of shared values. May all families navigate the loss of parents with dignity and love for each other. May all splintered families find healing when the dust of politics settles.

My family is blessed with keen minds and good hearts.

I came to my computer to write about a blessing in my life. As I sat, I saw a friend of mine had just posted on Facebook about a political schism in her family, which many families are dealing with. She has family members who defend/support the present trump administration.
 
Coincidentally, here is what I was about to write about.
I am so glad that everybody in my family holds progressive, anti-regressive views and hates the present administration. My sisters are both keen intellects and very well-read and mostly open-minded. (Gun control used to be our hot button disagreement at family gatherings.)
 
I am well-aware that it is helpful to not have a trump supporter in my family or at least one who does not insert himself into the discussion. My family and especially my sister Karen Topin hates trump as much and if possible, more than I do.
 
This makes family dinners much more enjoyable. I have heard from so many friends how ugly and painful it is to have a relative who defends the trump administration.
 
Anti-intellectualism has been used by totalitarian dictatorships to oppress political dissent. Perhaps its most extreme political form was during the 1970s in Cambodia under the rule of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, when people were killed for being academics or even for merely wearing eyeglasses (as it suggested literacy) in the Killing Fields. The Khmer Rouge regime frequently arrested and often executed anyone suspected of connections with the former Cambodian government or foreign governments, as well as professionals, intellectuals, the Buddhist monkhood, and ethnic minorities.
 
Trump is well along this path by deriding scientist, democrats, liberals, and a multitude of others. Notice that trump supporters are not fighting facts with facts. They are supporting regressive policies and a magnitude of vitriol never heard from the Oval Office in the past.
 
Of significance to me is that no matter what facts I use or trump lies I expose, his supporters are unwavering. Civil War is just ahead.