Friday, July 18, 2008

Sister Love

I was touched by my sister's offer to fly in from Chicago to stay with Mom for an extended weekend. Barbara never really knew Mom. My sister and I grew up in different homes. Our parents divorced when I was 6 and she was 4. I lived with our dad's parents (Grammy and Grampy) until Papa married Mom when I was 10. Barbara moved to Florida with Mother and her new husband. They had three daughters, half-sisters to Barbara and me.

During Barbara's occasional visits when we were kids, Mom was cool and distant. She made no attempt to hide her dislike of Mother and Grandmother. She disapproved of Mother for "having all those kids." All Barbara knows is that Mom has become demanding, demented, and cantankerous. She knows that I am overwhelmed and she has offered to come. If this isn't love, I don't know what is.

I won't take her up on her offer at this time. I've already made arrangements for the other Barbara, Mom's former neighbor, to return in early September so that Phil and I can get away. But there may come a time when I will take my sister up on her offer.

6 comments:

Peggy J said...

You are lucky to have such a loving sister. And your mother is very lucky to have such a loving daughter. God bless you!

forsythia said...

Peggy,

Thank you for your comment. Yes, it's times like these that I realize how lucky I am.

CJM-R said...

How wonderful for your sister to offer. Nice to know she will be there when you might need her.

sharecropper said...

Oh Dear, again! My Mom only lived to be 83, but she was dying since she was 50. She worked until age 68, had heart trouble - by pass, pacemaker - and respiratory problems. My therapist told me during the last few years (when we did have 24 hour help) that I should set boundaries within which I could be manipulated. That way, Mom would think she was getting her way, and I wouldn't be quite so frustrated.

No matter how much she's done for you, she is abusing you (not intentionally) as much as you may feel sometimes that you are abusing her with your impatience. Some ground rules would help.

Amy Y said...

That is very sweet of her to offer!

happypitbull said...

My sis and I didn't get along at all until after my parents' divorce and after I had moved on to college. Now we're best friends. Funny how some distance can change a relationship. I wish I had a good suggestion for you, but my relatives tend to age into placid senility rather than cantankerousness. But I'm sure the time away from your mom helps a little. I'd keep trying the caretaker idea; maybe your mom will find one she likes to hang out with.