An Open Letter to my Sister-in-law

Sister-in-Law,

I know that you are going through a hard time right now with trying to take care of your children and mother. I know the death of your baby brother hurt you to the core since it was you who found him like that. For that, I’m sorry. I wish I could take that experience away. My heart aches for you in your struggles, it honestly does. I know we have never seen eye to eye about much of anything but, you are part of my life and when you hurt, so do I. I hope that you can find peace in whatever way is right for you.

I know you don’t like me and neither does your mother. I’ve always known your mother didn’t approve of me, no matter how hard I tried. I gave up trying to please her years ago. I don’t matter but your brother does.

Yesterday he cried. REALLY cried. I heard him sobbing in the bedroom and went to check on him. He told me that mother is dying and that you yelled at him because he doesn’t come see her. When you said that you never wanted to talk to him again, you broke him.

You know he’s blind yet you want him to drive over there to see her. REALLY???

You know we have to rely on others for transport or take a three hour (one way) ride on the bus to mothers house to see her. Then the mile walk from the bus to her house. You DO know he has dementia, right? You DO know that if he has an episode, he won’t be around ANYTHING familiar and he’ll get lost, alone.

You see your mother EVERY day. You drive from your house to hers in your luxury car, past our house, EVERY DAY. Why can’t you stop and get him? He would love nothing more than to see his mother before she passes. Why not be a real sister and HELP HIM??

It’s 10:00 in the morning and he’s gone back to bed. I can hear him crying and there’s nothing I can do to make any of this better. It breaks my heart the way you’ve treated him over the years, yet he still calls mother at LEAST once a week.

When your brother died, it tore him up. They had JUST reconciled the week before his death. He doesn’t even remember the funeral. Yesterday he asked if he could go see him and when I told him that he couldn’t, he was beyond distraught. I thought he’d never stop crying. This was after your call with him. Today he’s been distracted, disorganized , stressed and now he’s shut down.

When your mother is gone and you’ve gone about your life without your brother, what will you do when he dies? Will you feel ANYTHING? We won’t have a funeral. He wants to be cremated and spread over the mountains.

Do you know that, for the past ten years, he’s contemplated just walking away from the family? Your anger and hatred toward me and your attitude every time the two of you talk has been why. More times than I can count he’s talked to me about just walking away and I’ve talked him out of it. I’ve reminded him to call mother. I’ve talked him OUT of calling you and telling you to go fuck yourself.

No more. If you don’t want to talk to him again, you won’t have to. I hope you’ll at least tell him when mother dies so we don’t have to read the obit in the paper.

When she’s gone, you’ll never hear from us again if that’s your wish. He’ll be dead to you, just like everyone else in your family. I hope you enjoy your life. Or change yourself before it’s too late.

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