I use to say "No yes, Yes no?" Just in any ol' conversation and then chuckled by the look on the person's face. It is fascinating to me right now the power of the word NO. I am a YES person, I see my life as endless possibilities to learn anything or do whatever I want. I can live in a beautiful world just by walking the trails at the park or laying on the winter's cold grass looking up at the sunshine...yes I can. I can do anything in this life time, (I can even steal President Obama's campaign famous slogan YES WE CAN.) Singing, dancing and loving my life will not change because I am a YES person suddenly hearing NO all the time, like in my mother's cottage out on my childhood farm with the ghost of my grandparents around me, I heard the word NO a hundred times over. My brothers still living at home don't seem to know how to say NO without actually saying it, I can redirect my mother from what she can't do to something she can, without ever once saying "NO MOM!" at the top of my lungs. Quietness is very important to me, I think it also calms my mother as well. Dim lighting from the Christmas tree soft background holiday music and hot tea are the things that comfort us when we are sad and helpless. My mother is in a difficult time right now for she remembers how she use to do it all for Christmas, everything was taken care of by her. The woman was talented in making 4 things happen at once...like marshmallows crunch cookies to 4 different kinds of fudge and toffee. Her roasted almonds and hand made caramels filled her long kitchen table like a Candy shop! It was always laid out on display for snacking on Christmas day. My mother remembers it all in every detail but can't get up to race around her home and set it up like it once was. The word, that annoying word NO is what her own body tells her and she left upset by it all. Yesterday I held her side as she made gingerbread cookies but in letting her do it herself the batter became an unknown paste of oddness...I baked a test run only to decided we won't have gingerbread men this year. I finally had my mother calm down as I told her to slow her mind in demanding every recipe get made right then like she would have done. This isn't an easy holiday for her, it is a reminder that she is forever changed. "Momma why are you frowning?" I asked her knowing her frowns come from wanting to have a PERFECT Christmas when everything around us is far from perfection. She sighed "I am frowning because everyone is saying NO, no no no no....I hate the word NO!" I chuckled and nodded. She continued on sharing "Christmas gifts are now lost and no one will take me shopping to go get replacements!" I put my face against her soft neck and chin as I hugged on her explaining "This year, everything is different, we are all not sure what needs to get done first or how to setup Christmas like you always did...Next year we will be much better at it okay? let it go....let go of what you can not do this year." Mom sighed saying "It's not Christmas without gingerbread men cookies!" and I laughed for THAT batter was haunting me through out the whole day! it took almost an hour to scrape it out of the mixing bowl for whatever it was reminded me of heavy glue! Saying the word NO to my mother is like pulling a gun that trigger word for her, will bring along a fight. For she will NOT be told NO. Understanding that she hears that word over and over again from her worrying sons who watch over her, to her own body saying NO if she tries to move her left leg.....I hope I can help my family all understand there are ways around actually saying NO. can redirect mother's focus, I accidentally said no once without thinking to a sweater she wanted to buy and she is still bringing THAT up! Hahahaha my mother needs to have some control, the word NO takes her control away from her so she gets upset. I have decided not to be a NO person along time ago in my own personal life, now when I understand the answer is no for my mother I change the sentence to leave out NO adding maybe later or not right now... for that just sounds much more hopeful! This holiday season my mother needs all the hope she can find. She needs to hear "YES next year will be better and YES you have come along ways through your stroke...YES the Christmas goodies are made."
It is hard to be a yes person in a family full of no, I am always going to be different to them so if they think I live among the fairies then let them wonder. A yes person will always know how a no person will respond. I am not there to change the their life story, I am just there because yes I can be. When I hear my mother shout out "Stop telling me NO!" from all the activities around her, I race into her lap so she can see my face up close as I say "Momma the most important thing is for you to be safe, so yes you can stand up but first you have ask for help and yes you have to know where your feet are." I wait watching her calm down again. I remind her of all things she can do and how magical this holiday will be for her in new home with all the help from friends and family. The word NO will not slip from my lips to my mother, I can see it has strong power as it fills the air around us and widens her eyes in alarm....I hope she will find her new life in among the goodness of the word Yes....maybe it starts with a simple smile of calmness in saying "Why yes it is Christmas and yes we all need a NEW year!"