Well, my sister and I have not been speaking now for… ouch, almost 15 months. We “communicate” (when she wants something) but my inquiries or announcements go through Deb, otherwise I get snide remarks or ignored (“It’s not just you, Jack, she ignores me too”). I let her know last year that I was not going to finance our parents’ medical care in the style to which my sister thought they deserved when that meant taking money out of OUR retirement funds instead of our parents’ (I don’t know how much they actually have, but our father used to boast about being a millionaire in assets thanks to his great stock investments; my sister has the financial and medical powers of attorney, but she didn’t want our father to think we were looting their funds, or something — I was never quite clear — however she is now using their money to pay for their health care). So I’m an ungrateful son and an unsupportive brother.

Ah, I remembered something from early last year, when things started going badly downhill:

Our father “severed all ties” (his words) to me and Deb after Deb “stole” his car (returned it to the dealer near the end of its lease) TWICE (my sister had the dealer return it the first time, because our father blamed my sister for putting Deb up to it, and my sister could not handle daddy being mad at his little girl, and Deb had to steal it again), so we don’t talk to him. (The car was taken from him because he lost his license when he failed his drivers test, but continued to drive anyway. Deb & I agreed we’d prefer our angry parent over some parent we’d never met with a dead kid because our father ran them over.)

Our mother talks to us, but has no idea who we are, and has so much trouble with words most days that phone conversations are almost impossible.

My sister has both parents in a care facility now. We haven’t visited yet. There seems to be no point (and Deb is worried I’ll have another nervous breakdown if our father unloads on me, as happened during a visit in mid-2016) and we have other things going on right now.

However, I still have an awesome family, just not the one I grew up with:

I remember you mentioning your wonderful mother-in-law while she was alive, Annie. I’m sorry you don’t have any living family who thinks you’re swell. Because you are. {**hug**}

Written by

Husband & retiree. Developer, tech writer, & IT geek. I fill what’s empty, empty what’s full, and scratch where it itches. Occasionally do weird & goofy things.

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