My Deadbeat Siblings
I have one older brother. I relocated my mom who is at a chronic care facility closer to me in Maryland. My brother lives about a 4 hour drive away in Pa. I was very angry at him for a long time due to his not at a minimum visiting his mom. All I was asking is that he be there for her as it would so cheer her. Well, he visited about 2 times and now resorts to writing her letters and she writes back. I am no longer angry at him. Why? For starters, my mom loves both of her children and would not want this. Secondly, he was never there for his mom so how can I expect him to be now? I have found that the majority of families have one sibling who steps up to the plate. In my case, I am glad it is me. My brother is not capable of dealing with all that I take on. This does not excuse his failing to visit but he has to live with himself. As for me, continuing to waste time being angry at him is taking too much of my emotions. I prefer instead to focus on my many blessings and at the top of that blessing list, still having my mom. Though our situation has changed drastically and I so miss the times we spent shopping/traveling/etc., she is still here and I still have her so at the end of the day, that matters more to me than harboring anger against a deadbeat brother who is who he is. I think God gives us all different "strengths" and "weaknesses." My mother was always there for her son and never let him down. More than anything, instead of anger I just think of how very sad when folks get older their children sometimes simply "walk away" and don't get involved in their medical care, etc. I could never do this. My mom deserves so much more. Yes, I get tired and sometimes depressed, but I still have my career and I have my mom. So I guess my message is to those of you who are dealing with being "party of one" with caring for your aging parents, perhaps you could walk away from the anger at your siblings and realize instead the positive things they are choosing to miss out on. The time that you are spending with your aging parents you will never get back. Someday they may be the first to leave this life and when that happens, you may hold your head high and know that in your heart, you showed them how much you love them by being there for them. After all, wouldn't we all want the same in return? I always believe in life "what goes around, comes around." Not that I wish bad things to happen to others, rather, there is such a thing as karma and when you give good things out in life, good things do come back to you. Hang tough caregivers! Caregiving is a blessing! It makes us stronger and allows us to "give back" to our folks. That to me is an honor.