Back when my grandma was in rehabilitation at a nursing facility before she settled at home for good this time, I made a
At first, I was kind of irritated at the fact that I didn’t have a name and people were referring to me in this manner. Then, I realized that I have built a reputation for myself like the Godfather. Picture The Godfather in your head. It is an image that evokes fear and reverence. The Godfather is a term of endearment for the boss, it commands respect and affection.
While some aspects of the mob may be seen as less than reputable, I think we can all agree that when we think of the mafia, one of the key terms that comes to mind is family.
True dons and doñas take grief from no man. They do what they have to do for the best of the family. They will go to war over their loved ones. This means exhibiting control and exercising discipline and executing smart social plays.
When I am feeling the heat from other people who don’t understand what we’re going through, I remember I am THE GRANDDAUGHTER, and I recognize myself as the boss and authority in my caregiving journey. I do not sell myself short and recognize my important role in my family and community.
In 2007, the Italian police found what they believed to be the Ten Commandments of the Mafia (link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7086716.stm). Even the mob recognized the value of having a code to live by. I think we can learn a few things from the mob.
So, without further ado, I present to you THE GRANDDAUGHTER’S Commandments.
|THE GRANDDAUGHTER’S COMMANDMENTS||THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF THE MAFIA|
|1. I will use my social capital to help my family get ahead in life. I will map out and utilize the connections I have with the people in my ‘family’ to help us get what we needs.
I will differentiate between my associates (people who are connected but have not been initiated into the family) and my administration (the close connections you have around my caree’s support) – so I know whom I can call on and when and what kinds of conversations to have with them.
When I need something that my immediately ‘family’ can’t provide, I will to fig who is a ‘friend of mine’ – someone that we are connected to that can help us before picking names out of the yellow pages or relying on publicly funded resources in limited supply.
|1. No one can present himself directly to another of our friends. There must be a third person to do it.
|2. I will be loyal to my ‘administration’ – that is, those who make my everydays possible.
I will appoint and nurture my relationship with my ‘consigliere’ (the boss’s advisor). I will make sure my consigliere should be a ‘stand-up guy’ (or gal). I will always have their back like they have mine. I will take care of them and ‘vouch for’ them when they need me.
|2. Never look at the wives of friends.
|3. No one should take any action ‘off the record’ in benefit of or on the behalf of Grandma without consulting with the Granddaughter, even if Grandma begs them not to tell her.
Does anyone do anything in the mob without the Godfather knowing about it? I think not. It is important to always inform the caregiver when you are not ‘made’ (that is closely tied to the family) or you do not have explicit instructions or are unsure of standard protocol.
Those who observe this commandment will be held in high favor by the Doña (AKA The Granddaughter).
|3. Never be seen with cops.
|4. I will not push myself so hard I need to drink (or rely on unhealthy habits).
I will remember self-care and practice it faithfully.
I will find what I love to do so I’m ready to unwind when the time comes, and I will share in these activities with my caree when appropriate.
I will not feel guilty for taking time for myself. I will repeat out loud: It’s business, it’s not personal.
|4. Don’t go to pubs and clubs.
|5. I will always put my family first. I will always remember there is nothing more important in life than the people I care about and who care about me.
Family caregiving is a 24/7/365 job. I will always be prepared for the call to provide care and have a plan B when I am engaging in self-care so that I can continue to enjoy myself.
|5. Always being available for Cosa Nostra is a duty – even if your wife’s about to give birth.
|6. I will always follow through with my word.
If I say I’m going to do something and I don’t do it, I can’t be made when I look like a ‘cafone.’
|6. Appointments must absolutely be respected.
|7. I will recognize that I might be the don, but my caree is the boss.
Carees must be treated with respect and dignity after a lifetime of experiences.
Some of the loved ones we’re responsible for made our making our measly existences on earth possible. I will give them the honor they deserve.
|7. Wives must be treated with respect.
|8. I will always be bold and speak my mind. I know best what I need or how to help myself and my caree.
I will never be afraid to ‘hit the mattress’ with a professional over the quality of life of my caree or my needs, but I will always do it in a respectfully. I will pull them aside to ‘take a walk’ and help them understand my point of view or schedule a ‘sit-down’ to squash the ‘beef.’
I will ‘give a pass’ to offenders when they’ve crossed me and we have squashed our beefs.
|8. When asked for any information, the answer must be the truth.
|9. I will never use my own resources if my caree has their own ‘dough.’
I still have to live, today, and when you are no longer providing care.
|9. Money cannot be appropriated if it belongs to others or to other families.
|10. I will not open our ‘books’ to ‘Cosa Nostra’ to people whose values don’t align with ours, toxic relationships, and folks who are otherwise barriers to our good lives.
||10. People who can’t be part of Cosa Nostra: anyone who has a close relative in the police, anyone with a two-timing relative in the family, anyone who behaves badly and doesn’t hold to moral values.|
I got my gangster terminology from the Mobspeak Glossary found at http://aman.members.sonic.net/mobspeak.html
A few months after I started this blog, I found Caregiving.com. That point in time changed the course my caregiving trajectory in a