So, I have been thinking on this for a while. The longer that I think about it, the madder I get. It’s the family member who wants everyone to fit into their little boxes. The same one who wants to use the people in the family for attention. It makes me crazy because they are never the ones in the trenches. They like to bring out the family when it will serve their purpose.
Recently, my mom has been having some health issues. While they are serious, it’s not life or death. This sister and my mother have had a volatile relationship forever. I don’t try to get in the middle, it’s not my situation. I don’t try to mend it, don’t try to take sides, just listen passively when they think that they have something I ‘should’ know. I have long taken the stance of live and let live with family drama. It’s taken me a long time to understand what people are and aren’t capable of being, then I work really hard not to expect anything more than that from them. I equally try to understand what I am capable of being, and I don’t commit to being more. It’s actually quite freeing. Allows you to just enjoy what’s here in front of you. This being said; I feel it’s important to admit that I still make missteps in this area. No one is perfect, from this I am not exempt.
My sister heard of Mom’s health issues from another family member, and that’s fine. I wasn’t keeping it from her; I was respecting the last request I got from her about Mom: “Leave me out if it, I don’t want her to be a part of my life.” Ok, not my deal. As you wish. But suddenly upon this news, she takes to social media to give the world a ‘my mom never loved me and now that she is sick, I really wish she had.’ Well, you can’t have it both ways. You can’t remove her from your life and then use her to get rest of the world to love you more. I have been in this with my mom for months, never once took to social media. It’s not about them, it’s about her. It’s a private thing. Now you’re sharing a half-story about her health all over the Internet to get attention. Never mind that she probably wants to keep that private, that you don’t actually care what happens to her. Nope, just putting out there to get your attention.
It’s the same with our other sister, she is disabled and it’s a progressive thing. Most of the sisters don’t make any efforts to have a relationship. No, that would be hard. Guess what, it’s hard! It’s hard to love someone who is going to leave before they should. It’s hard to see people in pain, it’s hard to understand her when she talks, it’s hard to make sure she can hear you when you talk. It’s hard to help her with her medical appointments, it’s hard to find time in your busy life to just sit with her sometimes. But you can’t go back, it’s not going to get any easier! What she has going on only gets harder then it’s over. And when it’s over, I know that I will feel like I did everything I could to soak up all the love with her I could. I will sleep easier because I didn’t use her for sympathy. I loved her, even when it’s hard. Because that is what I needed and what she needed and what we were both capable of.
So I don’t expect these things of my other sisters. They aren’t capable. But when they bring out the cripple* for sympathy, it really makes me steam. But I am starting to see that it is how they deal. This is them ‘working it out’ that she will be gone one day. Sooner than she should be. Yes, I feel like this is something they should work through privately, without all the ‘aw…you poor thing…your sister’s sick’ sympathy they actively seek. It should be worked out WITH the actual person who IS central. But instead this is all they are capable of. Even if I don’t like it. Even if it makes me mad.
*I feel that I should explain that the term ‘cripple’ is used her with her blessing, in the correct context and is not meant as a derogatory term. So many of the people I love, admire and look up to have bodies that don’t do as they are told. That doesn’t make them ‘less’ in anyway. In fact, I believe it makes them so much more. I do hope that you are all blessed enough to know at least one ‘cripple.’