She cannot tell me. I live 1000 miles away from my mother who is in a nursing home and not doing well. There are three sisters, of which I am the youngest with a large age gap. One of the sisters lives near my mother with her family and is the primary caregiver. The other sister lives 5 hours away, and I have figured out that she is being updated regularly, so I know it’s not an issue of being too busy.
About a year ago I started a new job which I had to wait 12 months to earn a week of vacation. By the time I had gotten to my one year anniversary, the company was sold and for the past two months is going through a restructuring. Basically I have been told no vacation until this is over unless it’s a family emergency. I can’t afford to fly, so going for a weekend won’t work, plus I know from my last visit this won’t really be enough time to help out. So a weeklong visit is really the best option at this point, but not really available just yet.
The caregiving sister rarely answers my calls and hardly ever calls me back, and text messages often go unanswered. I usually try and contact her or my mother about once a week to see how she is, so I am in no way being a pest. I used to call my mother much more often, every day at one point, but since her health is failing talking on the phone is a strain for her. When I do get my sister on the phone she is often abrupt with me, and when I have tried to explain why I haven’t been able to get up there yet, she is basically done with our conversation. I have offered a time or two to help out with phone calls and arranging things when I can get her on the phone, but she basically brushes me off.
I feel like I am being shut out. I am hoping to be able to visit soon, but honestly am dreading seeing my sister after her behavior towards me, and am not sure how to navigate this. I know she is under a lot of pressure being the main caregiver. I have thanked her for her care of my mother and I know she is in great hands. I would gladly have my mother in my town, but even the suggestion of that would be met with disgust in the family, as family visits have almost always been one way….me going to them. I feel like this lack of contact is intentional, and is intended to punish. I am frustrated because I feel like we are all adults, and any disagreements should be put behind us when dealing with this type of situation. I have never questioned any of my sister’s decisions regarding my mother’s care, and have only expressed gratitude for what information has been given to me. Any advice?