I have a sister who acts like my mom doesn't exist.

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My older sister lives about 25 min. from my mom. She has stage 4 cancer and is taking chemo as surgery and radiation is no longer an option. I can't believe that my older sister never bother to visit her or take her out to the stores or even call her. I sent a text to her yesterday asking her if she understands the mom has stage 4 cancer and that this chemo she is now taking might be one of her last options. She's the sister that got mad when I took away her free car that I had been providing her. I just can't understand her when she acts so happy and says things like "well it is what it is" after I tried to employ her and she kept missing deadlines and made me look bad to other sub-contractors.


Your mother is in the last stage of cancer. Your sister is ignoring her, saying "it is what it is." I'm not going to try to diagnose your sister's problem, but it definitely is her problem, not yours.

You've made efforts to connect with Sister and connect Sister with Mother. It hasn't worked out. You've done what you could regarding that. Now just focus on Mother. Don't complicate this challenging and emotional time by trying to take responsibility for your sister.
You mention that you have previously provided your sister with a car, and attempted to provide her with gainful employment. How does it come about that your older sister has needed this kind of help from you? What is behind her apparent disregard for things like turning up on time when people are counting on her? You seem to have taken on some sort of responsibility for her: are you concerned that now, when your mother is naturally your priority, your sister will continue to be more of a liability than an asset and a source of support?

I agree with Jeanne that now might be a good time to leave sister to cope on her own. But perhaps it isn't quite that simple.
You're both right. I was feeling bad for my mom that my sister doesn't reach out to her or offer to help in taking her to her many appointments or just spend time with her but I just now need to concentrate on what I can do for my mom. I have helped my sister out a lot in the past and I thought that naturally she would do the same for others especially our mom. I've learned a lot about her and that not everybody has a heart to do kind things for others. Thanks so much for your thoughts. Much appreciated. :)
Some times grown children just cannot bear to see their parent when the parent is sick. They want to remember the parent when the parent was healthy. It's an emotional thing that we just cannot change.

My sig other didn't like visiting my Mom in long-term-care, nor did he like staying more than 5 minutes visiting Dad in Independent Living, my gosh the place looked a hotel... he just didn't like seeing people with walkers. It gave him a sense of his own mortality, which he didn't like.... [sigh]
It's not as though the rest of us like seeing our parents when they are sick or enjoy the ambience when visiting hospitals and nursing homes. Life is full of unpleasant feelings and drudgery and uncomfortable situations, I'm tired of having to excuse those who feel their preferences should take priority and who aren't willing to hold their noses and step up.
I couldn't agree more strongly, CW.

I heard the story not long ago of a woman who had had to put her severely brain damaged child into care after twelve years of struggling to raise her alone. She recounted that her physically strong daughter, whose mental age was less than two, had a tantrum and pushed her over in the street, and a passer-by literally stepped over her and walked on. Lying there in a daze, that was the moment she knew that she could not go on.

When and how did it become okay again to "pass by on the other side"?
Dear Sheron,

I hear you. You are doing the best you can by reaching out to your sister. As siblings its hard for us to understand how we could be so different in how we think and act. I know its hard to accept. I struggled with this issue with my siblings as well during my dad's last few years.

I kept trying and trying, hoping to get through to them, but they made me feel like I was the problem. Now that we are all middle aged, I guess I have to let it go. I just cannot get blood from a stone. The only person I can control is myself. Its hard to accept, but its what I am working on.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

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