Well, that’s a turn up for the books

I sent a letter to my brother – the one who responded to the first one in June.

Just an update of Mum’s situation, her new address and how we’ve dealt with the house.

He phoned and left a message while I was at work.

He has offered to help with the “top up” for Mum’s room.

I was a little taken aback but all in all it’s a kind gesture from someone who’s shown little interest in Mum over the last few years.

His two children have grown up and one has emigrated to be with a girl friend in Melbourne, the other lives in the City near him and is becoming successfully in a tech firm.

My brother does contract work developing and maintaining web sites mainly for sports clothing shops.

They are comfortably well off so can afford to support Mum.

Our conversations are always a little strained – and odd to listen to as we have identical voices. Jo listened in and sat with her mouth open.

We have a standing joke, Gill and I, about his clockwork brain. I correctly predicted when he would phone back and that he would be on for a set time – usually 15 minutes. He did and he was.

It is kind of him but, like the hundreds of photos of him and his kids we’ve found in Mum’s house, it’s a salve to his conscience for not seeing her more often.

There was no invitation to visit his house, large but empty, or even to spend time getting to know his nephews and nieces.

I’ve promised to scan the old photos and send a Onedrive invitation to him (technofunky me eh?).

He actually opened the conversation with a chat about the weather – we haven’t spoken in three years.

Family eh?


One thought on “Well, that’s a turn up for the books

  1. I’m not defending your brother, but some people simply don’t know what to say or do in a crisis. They’re so used to others picking up the slack for them, they become helpless (or stupid, depending on your opinion of them) even if they’re otherwise bright people at work.

    My sister was well-intentioned, but in a clumsy, ill-timed way. I think she was so used to leaning on her husband and son, it didn’t occur to her that she could have done things for our parents on her own. Instead, she let me shoulder the heavy work; when I lost my temper at her for having let things go for so long, she snapped, “I didn’t know what to do! Plus I’m busy….” and proceeded to rattle off a list of domestic duties that her family could have easily taken over for her. (Her children were older teenagers by then and didn’t seem very concerned by Mom’s absence.) When I finally persuaded her to come down and help out (our mother was in hospice by then), she made awkward attempts at light conversation, as if we were meeting for coffee. After she left, the hospice aide clucked her tongue and said, “Someone’s in deep denial.”

    Anyway, even if it is guilt that’s driving him, let him be of help. Maybe he’ll learn something from all this.

    Liked by 1 person

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