Oh what a life.

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I’m sitting here trying to decide what to write about. You know, there is a bunch to write about. More than one thing, more than one story. I think about podcasting it. I think some of it is pretty funny. I think some if it is more than sad. Part of me just wants to write an open letter to Tom asking for the comfort that he used to provide. It has been a very hard few months. Some days all I want is the best part of that relationship back, without all the issues that went with it.

Mom had the back surgery almost two months ago. Last week, she had her left hip replaced. It’s been a really rough few months. I never ever expected to be in this position. Seriously. I knew that at some point in time my mom was going to be sick. Seriously sick. Assisted living kind of sick.

When she had the first back surgery two years ago, I saw what help I was going to get from my family. Yeah, that was about as much help as both she and I got. I should say she. Seriously. But I say she and I because it became all about me helping her. Did I mind? Yeah, I did. I always expected that my sibling would be a part of the solution to my mom’s health issues. Yeah, I understand that I live with my mom. There is an expectation that I will be there. That I will always be able to help out. Honestly, I always do. But the expectation that my sibling being a part continues to disappoint. Not just me, but my mom.

Two months ago, my sibling was non-existent. My sibling had absolutely no part in caring for my mom. No part of the hospital time, no part of the going home time, no part of the getting back to normal time. Seriously. My sibling was non-existent. This pissed me off. Seriously pissed me off. Why? Why did it piss me off? Because, there was an assumption that I would be the person who dealt with everything that needed to be done, and that I would be the primary caregiver. But more than that, there was an assumption that my sibling would care enough about my mother to at least come for a visit. Yeah, that didn’t happen. Matter of fact, I had to take my mother to my sibling… It was disgusting. All my mom wanted was for my sibling to care enough to come and visit her. Not having that happen was painful to witness. Seriously painful.

For some reason, the hip replacement seemed to be different. My sibling all of a sudden wanted to be a family. Trying to “extend” some sort of olive branch. My sibling decided that we should have a family Thanksgiving… That we should go shopping the next day, even make cookies as a family. During this time, I explained how difficult being the sole support of my mother was. I told my sibling that I needed support. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time I asked for support. If you think about it, I was asking for the wrong thing. And, I shouldn’t have been the one to ask. My mother should have.

So, before the procedure, there was supposedly a “plan.” My mom told me that all was set. Then, I spent entirely too much time in the hospital. My mom was crying. All the time. Seriously. I’d leave at night to her being depressed. Woke in the morning to her crying. Talked to her during the day, she cried. Then I talked to my sibling. The help that was supposed to be there started to change… What was 3 days of help turned into 2. I started to feel trapped. Really trapped.

Things never did get better after the back… The only time I didn’t spend with my mom was when I was in class or at work. Yeah, there were one or two nights that I wasn’t with her, but they were few and far between. I saw the same thing happening now…  Hell, it is happening now. 

I should give my sibling some credit…  She brought my mom home from the hospital on Friday.  She was here for a while on Monday so that I could do enrollment reports.  Friday night I asked for a break.  I wanted to do some Christmas shopping with Jessica.  Mom told me to go.  I went…  At 9 pm, my sibling started asking when I would be home.  She was tired.  When they finally got me on the phone at 9:45, I gave the answer I’d been dying to give for a long time… “When I get there.”  At that point my sibling decided that it was too hard to help at my house, and told my mom that she should move her bed and easy chair to my siblings house.  My sibling was no longer comfortable at our house.  I don’t know quite how my mom convinced her to come to the house on Monday.  Actually, my mom paid some guy $24 an hour (5 hours) to sit here at the house so I could go out tonight.  Yeah, my sibling can’t figure out that I shouldn’t have to be the 24 hour care.  That I might actually need to leave the house.  That I might need a break from all this. 

Mom told my sibling that she wouldn’t be moving her furniture.  She wouldn’t be comfortable staying at her house.  I don’t expect to see my sibling again until she stops by to pick up her presents.  Yeah…  That’s why she wanted to be “family” again, she wanted her damn presents.  When she called to get me to come home because she was tired on Friday night, I had just purchased her present, and was on my way to my car.  It was an All-Clad Slow Cooker, $100 at William Sonoma.  Damn thing weighs 30 pounds.  I returned it tonight.  I told the sales person that my sister pissed me off, so she wasn’t getting any gift from me.  The sales girl thought it was funny.  You know, I can tell a good story.  It’s too bad that it’s not a good story.  It’s a sad story, that shouldn’t be this way.  She should understand that her behavior hurts Mom a bunch more than it hurts me.  It just makes me angry.  Mom sits here and wonders why my sister doesn’t care about her.  That hurts more than anything.

Cashing in my 401K looks better and better each day.  So does calling Tom.  I wonder how low I’m going to have to get before either of those two things happen.  Honestly, I’m not sure I can get much lower.

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  1. I’m sorry. I know how disappointing it is to not get the support you need from family members at these times. I’ve learned, a little bit, though it does nothing as far as forgiveness, that she will regret it in the end far more than she may realize. You can never take this time back.

  2. I’m so sorry, Gwen.  I know the frustration you are feeling but I can only imagine the disppointment your mom is feeling.  Del is right, your sister will never get this time back.