Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The last time...

I am so frustrated today.  Unfortunately, it is for the same reason that I have been pulling my hair out for most of this journey.  As a lot of you know, I have two surviving brothers.  At different times, they have both stepped up and helped, either by watching Mom or by helping me financially.  I should add that the one that helped by watching Mom did so when it was convenient and only after requests and demands.  The financial help from the other has come more recently and more willingly. 

The brother who sometimes watched Mom, hasn't spoken to me in almost a year.  He did send my family Christmas presents and my daughters birthday presents.  But, there have been no calls asking how Mom is doing.  No texts checking to see if I'm still alive.  And it just gnaws at me.  Even on good days with Mom there is this underlying hurt because I don't honestly know why this is acceptable to him or why he feels that I deserve it.

I understand that both brothers hold a strong resentment to some things that happened to us as children.  I get that.  And neither know how to care for her.  They get frustrated.  It effects their health or mental well-being.  For one of them, it upsets his family.  The other has no patience with her.  But, I just have to know how many of those excuses do not apply to me and my family?  Am I exempt from the childhood resentment?  Do they think that I have a magic wand and barrels of patience?  Is  my health a guaranteed commodity?  

My youngest daughter will be graduating from the 8th grade at the end of May.  Today, she asked her uncles to watch Mom that night so that her celebration would be free of the everyday tension, anger, and embarrassment that has been so much a part of her young life.  During the request, my daughter found out that the "absent" brother not only got married in the last year, he became a grandfather for the first time.  If I was in doubt before, it is clear now, I am no longer a part of my brother's family.  And that will have to be okay.  I don't want to be part of something where I'm not welcome. 

But, here is my frustration.  I don't want him helping us.  At all.  I know it's my pride speaking, well, and a dash of hurt.  My brain is screaming, let him help.  It's for your daughter.  And because of her, I will let him help.  But, it will be the last time. 


  1. There needs to be a crash course in dentistry for family caregivers - tooth extraction 101 because it's like pulling teeth getting certain siblings to pitch in.
    Often I just say screw it, it's easier to do this or that task myself then all the begging, cajoling, guilt trips that would make a Jewish Grandmother proud tat seems to be the only way to get an occasional respite assist with our mother.Then of course there's the nurse/control freak in me ... who worries that our mother's visit is going well (translation = she didn't walk away, meds given) when she's with that brother who balked so fiercely.
    I have no sage advice that will comfort your justified emotions. Just a heaping serving of acknowledgement & empathy.
    I once remarked to a brother that there's a certain irony in all of this "difficult scheduling" of our mother's rare visits with him ... that my nieces & nephews won't ever have all this stress between them that I do with him and brothers #1 and #4.
    Teach my example ... enjoy your golden years my brothers they'll be here sooner than you think.

  2. Pelenaka, so true! I'm sorry that you understand. I was talking to someone near and dear to me yesterday and the hardest part for me is the "Why?". I will never know or understand, but I have to move on. It's just so sad. At least the one brother has the balls to say that he just can't handle her. I have more respect for that than the one who just ignores and shuts us out. He has lost all respect from my kids and he is truly missing out on some amazing people. But, his loss. I gure I will hear from him after Mom is gone but by then it will be to late. Thanks for the support.