Family Communications Manager- An Organizers Role In Her Family

Last week was not a good week for the Kelly/Kessler family we are minus the patriarch of Kelly side of the family. Our very own secret agent man, the one that traveled the world, and was larger than life died from a massive aneurysm. The parential units could not be reached, so I got the text. I was on a job, so I didn't see it immediately.

As soon as I got in my car, I called my cousin to find out what happened. Then I tried to reach my dad. I have to say, I was glad that I could not get ahold of him. I didn't want to have to tell him the sad news. The next call was to my sister, who said she would call our brother.

I knew my mom was literally in the air on her was to Connecticut so I just texted - "family emergency-call when you land." She called from the baggage claim area and I choked out the news.

Even though I live in Chicago and my family lives in Connecticut and DC, I play the role of "communications manager" during family crisis. It's another way I put my organizational skills to use.

As cruel fate would have it, A few days later as my mom boarded a train to go to DC(ironically she had planned to visit my Aunt and Uncle before his passing), her mother(the Kessler side) decided she wanted to go for a walk and deactivated her sensor on her wheelchair and took a fall.

This time my Aunt left a message on my parents home phone. I got a text while at work and didn't see it for a few hours. I called my mom who was had just arrived in DC and would be heading back to Connecicut the next day. I knew what my role was.

Ten minutes later, I was sitting at my desk firing off phone calls and emails to the family (my grandmother is one of nine kids). I emailed my two first cousins wives through facebook. I then called my grandmother's brother (The only other living sibling). I went down my list (did I mention that my grandmother survived 5 heart attacks and this is not my first time at the rodeo).

Everyone got a phone call, email or text advising her accident, care plan, and update when she came out of surgery.

So even from afar, I was able to help my family. Sometimes during a family crisis, the hardest thing is to make the calls when you are in shock. By taking over this role, my mom was able to focus on caring for her mom vs spending time on the phone.

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