The effects of caring for a terminally ill family member can be devastating to any family. You truly discover the weak links in what was an otherwise strong unit. My family remained strong after the early deaths of two brothers and the horrific cancer death of my father. I was proud of them all while settling my grandfather's estate... there was no greed or hard feelings about any of his possessions as they were given to those who wanted them.
But, this. This heinous disease that has taken so much from my mother has also taken my once strong family. The hard feelings and anger at my remaining brothers' inconsistent and often non-existent offers of help are hard to be forgiven, but will be. It will be much harder to forgive the fact that they have been a part of my family but I am no longer a part of theirs.
A few years ago my oldest nephew was married. I was originally invited to the ceremony but was uninvited because they were afraid that I would bring Mom. I was not even offered the option of attending without Mom. Today was my other nephew's wedding. I was told of the ceremony, shown the invitation and had the details of the upcoming nuptials described in detail. But, I wasn't considered worthy of an invitation. I actually feel better about this one because I wasn't given some insulting reason for the omission. It is truly ironic that I feel like the hired help, yet, at the same time I am not being paid and being forced into bankruptcy.
It is both heart-wrenching and freeing to realize that you are not an important part of the family which you have always cherished. I would like to walk away from the entire situation and tell them both to suck eggs. But, those times when their schedules allow a few hours to be a son to their mother and a brother to me are the only breaks that I get. I feel like a hypocrite each time that I smile and say the right words when they share the stories of their families' happy moments.
I truly wish my nephews and my brothers much happiness. I only dream that they could wish the same for my daughters' and mine.