I was able to catch up with my sister this morning.  She lives overseas and I don’t get to communicate with her as much as I would like, but she will be home around Christmastime, so I have that to look forward to.  She wanted updates about the family and I gave them to her.  I tried to be vague, but the truth inevitably came out.  I mentioned my grandfather’s sickness last weekend, how my brother stepped up to the plate to take care of him, and how my parents are slow to make any moves on finding in-home care for him.

My sister was enraged.

When she was in the country, from February to August, she put the bulk of her energy into taking care of my grandparents.  My grandparents have never been perfect people.  Both my grandfather and my grandmother have had their issues and their flaws.  I think my brother and sister are better at putting the past aside than I am.  I hang onto the hurt.  I wish I could work through it, but it’s difficult.

My sister raged in her corner of the world, I raged in mine.  She was incredibly upset by my parents’ inaction.  My grandparents moved back in with my parents in June of this year, and since then no one has made any moves on getting them care, despite the countless resources my siblings and I sent them on the matter.

I can only make assumptions.  Maybe my mom is in denial; maybe she thinks that if she finds them care, she accepts their mortality.  My mother has been an emotional wreck under the surface since my grandfather’s stroke in 2009; if agitated enough, you can see the wreckage in bursts.  Maybe my father, on the other hand, has let his anger and bitterness get the best of him, and there is a part of him, even a small part, that believes their suffering is justified based on how the treated him when he married my mother.

My siblings and I can be upset about the situation, but at the end of the day, we need to acknowledge that we have absolutely no control over it. I think what my parents fail to realize is that they are setting the example for how the elderly should be treated.  I wonder if they’ll be surprised when my siblings and I threaten them with putting them in an old folks home after the shouting matches and the memory loss and the aggression and the incontinence.

That’s not for another 30 years or so. We got time.

No song today.  I’ll be back later, hopefully.


Author: Leila

Just another case of arrested development.

3 thoughts on “Family.”

  1. As a carer caring for an elderly parent with dementia, your post really spoke to me today. All I can say is: I admire you and your siblings for the tender way you talk of and care for your grandparents, even though the job properly belongs with your parents in the first instance. It’s amazing how your love shines through, even though, as you say, they’re not easy people. You can choose your friends… as the saying goes. 🙂


    1. We’ve all taken turns calling for them. I started after my grandfather had his stroke in 2009. My brother moved back home from Chicago months later to help, as I was juggling caring for my grandfather and my baby sister. Then there was a little more conflict within the family than I would like to remember, resulting in my grandparents moving back to their home. They would visit for months at a time after that. When it became obvious that my grandfather’s dementia has progressed and my grandmother couldn’t care for my grandfather on her own anymore, mom and dad made the decision to move them back to the states. Unfortunately, they didn’t put any care plan in place and my other sister, home from going to school overseas, stepped up to take care of them.

      Us kids harbor really strong feelings towards our grandparents. Some more than others. I had to abandon my career position because of an issue I had with my grandmother stemming from childhood. My siblings are stronger than I am about it, I guess.

      Fact of the matter is, my siblings and I have been put into positions being our level of responsibility. I’m getting angry now, so I’m going to end this here.


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