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05/31/2011 08:52 AM

Outside Looking In

Posts: 28

Hello everyone. Just came back after vising my Dad and sister for the weekend. It was a wonderful trip and it is good to be home. My husband and I had a day to spend with my Dad by ourselves and it was a beautiful time. It was very hard to leave because Dad asked if we could stay. He was in bed because he has been sleeping more and more, which is very concerning. I learned later when I called my sister to let her know we had arrived home, that Dad got out of bed shortly after we left - to say a "last good-bye." I am heartbroken that we missed that time with him.

I know his time is getting short (he's nearly 91) and every moment we are with him we consider a gift.

The reason I wrote, however, is not my Dad, but my sister. While we were staying with them, my husband decided to change a showerhead in one of the bathrooms that was clogged with deposits and not producing well. My sister became very upset, telling us we made her feel like the "poor aunt" who couldn't do anything for herself. If we had known changing a simple showerhead would set her off, we never would have done it. She did say it was not only us, but she has determined she will not ask for any help at all, with my father or with the house. She hires in people to go lawn work or repairs, etc., which is not a problem at all. However, I have two brothers, and two nephews who live nearby who could and would willingly be there for her.

She is also making me feel that I really am not part of the family. She asked if I would help her go through some of my mother's belongings (mom died a long time ago) because she wanted to downsize. As long as I was willing to take knicknacks, everything was fine, but I asked for a couple of mom's personal items (her high school diploma) I was told the grandchildren there might want those, so I could not take them. I am having quite the pity party right now. Please know, I will not and have never wanted anything of value other than a personal item here and there. We have never asked for anything, altough my brothers and their sons have already made my sister promise what they will receive when my Dad passes away.

I know this sounds very selfish, but I only write it because it has served to make me feel since I do not live near the family, I no longer am a part of it. My husband and sons have never wanted anything from my parents. My sons are very, very close to my father and want nothing more than to spend time with him. They would do anything for him and have arranged their vacation time each year to include a visit to Grandpa's home with their daughters to be close to him and my sister.

Can anyone tell me why my sister appears to be shutting herself off? Why does she refuse to ask for any help? She has so much going on, it doesn't make sense for her to do additional things she has no time or energy to do when there are capable family members who would love to assist her? She is my father's security. He will not do anything without her direction, which I consider a blessing - he does not wander, try to cook or do laundry, or anything that could harm him.

This has gotten way too long. Thank you for allowing me to vent, and if anyone could give me a glimpse into my sister's mindset, I would greatly appreciate it! God bless you all. SandyS


06/01/2011 07:21 AM
Posts: 1149
Group Leader

Hi Sandy. I'm sorry for your pain. I can think of a couple of things. Perhaps your sister feels more entitled to direct who gets what if she does all the caring for your father.

Also, relatives cannot always come on a regular schedule for routine upkeep. Maybe it is just easier for her to schedule these things and pay to have it done rather than wait for someone else to come do it when they have time. I know from caring for my mom that waiting on other people's schedules for repair problems often pushed me over the top when I had my hands full trying to keep my mom cared for.

Maybe she's just compulsive about handling everything and when people come and start fixing things in her house, she feels like she has failed to cover everything. But hey, you can come to my house any time. I have plenty of things that need fixing and I love to have guests who also help out.

Don't forget there are wonderful photocopy machines. Maybe not as satisfactory as the original, but pretty darn good nevertheless. If there are important documents you want, buy a ream of 100% cotton paper and have some sheets loaded into the photocopy machine when you go to copy. These copies will last practically forever if stored properly. ANW

Post edited by: alznotwell, at: 06/01/2011 07:26 AM

06/20/2011 01:20 PM
Posts: 28

Thank you so much for your advice. I deeply appreciate it. I'm sure we'll work everything out - but I'm sure you can relate to the fact that stress is very, very high right now and we're muddling through. Sandy

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