My family usually celebrates Christmas together -- not necessarily all around the tree on Christmas Day, but either that day or very soon after we get together for a Family Christmas Dinner and do our gift-giving at that time. Because my husband is not very happy about the lack of support I get from my sisters, including the fact that I have to "prompt" them to call Mom every week or two or they don't get around to it, and the fact that they almost never come to see Mom unless it is one of the weekends they have agreed to look after her so I can go and spend a weekend with my husband ... my husband didn't much want to join the Family Christmas Dinner this past holiday season, that was going to be held at my youngest sister's house. He was especially put out with her because she has a husband and 2 sons in their 20's who can take over things at home and allow her time to call and visit her Mom, but that rarely seems to happen. They only live an hour's drive away.
He and my youngest sister had an email exchange around that time, and he thought from her reply to him that she understood why he was annoyed and not "feeling it" with her. Well, apparently she didn't get it. So when she asked me about it several months later, I told her why he was upset. He's upset with both sisters about their lack of support, but a bit more so with the youngest for the above mentioned reasons.
So this past weekend, I get a long email from my youngest sister, all defensive about how hard it is for her to come and look after Mom on a weekend, how she doesn't sleep well here because she worries something might happen to Mom during the night, how stressful it is for her to have to email me to ask about this or that medication Mom takes, how when she finally gets home Sunday afternoon (when my other sister comes and takes over until Monday) she has to rush to get laundry done and ends up exhausted starting her work week. And on and on.
I wrote her back and addressed the matters she raised, including the sidetracks she had gone into that had nothing to do with the main issue of being more supportive. Among other things, I asked her why she couldn't bring her laundry out and do it at Mom's, because the washing machine and dryer here are perfectly fine, and she'd not need to knock herself out getting it done when she got back home, etc.
No response to my reply.
I always thought we were a remarkably close family: all for one, one for all. And I've always considered my sisters to be my best friends, too. No one else can make me laugh as hard as they do when we get together. But I'm starting to think I've been deluding myself.