Saturday, November 17, 2012

And then there were two.

Technically, I have an older sister and a younger sister.  Now I have only the younger.  I lost the older in 2004, the week my father died.  I need her.  Well, I need the her I thought she was.  Love is blind.   I would have gotten there eventually.  I was just one bag of candy away.  (Diabetes) 
Since my mom died when I was 17, even though I still had my dad and he also became my mom, I needed my older sister.  All this stuff I write here is stuff I used to write to her.  Back in the day, we had to pay for long distance calls-she lives in a neighboring state-so we talked only as much as we could afford to do so.  Writing was cheaper.  When I did get a letter, I would save it - much the same way you leave dessert for last.  And I savored it.  I re-read it.  It was so important to me.  She was important to me.  I know she loved me but I now know that it wasn't the same as the way I loved her.
Whether she called me or I called her, we had good conversations.  There was alot I overlooked.  Love will do that to you.  I overlooked the way she babied her kids.  I over looked the way she absolutely resented watching her grandkids but did it anyway.  I over looked the unrealistic comment that her soon-to-be step-kids wanted to call her mommy.  I over looked the period of time before that when she stalked and lied about a relationship with an eye doctor.  She literally did drive-bys.  Often.  BTW, she was over 40 yrs. old at the time. 
She is best friends with Hunter's ex-wife.  She has been for a long time.  In fact, I met Hunter through my sister.  I found out she had three of my letters, written in a row, that she never even opened and read.   I found out she chose her best friend over me.  I found out I was fooled by her all along.  Me.  The fool.  Who'd a thought.

When my dad was dying I kept her apprised of everything.  I needed her support.  I thought I had it but things seemed weird.   She came down once in awhile.  The times my younger sister flew out from Colorado they all stayed together in a hotel.  My younger sister was great. 
Let's skip forward a bit.  For about a year his love-not lover-and I had cared for him.  I want from full time to part time to help care for him.  We did the doctor's appts. and surgeries and medications and catheters.  Well, you get the drift. 
The last and final time he was in the hospital before we take him home -with hospice -even though he wanted to die in the hospital to save us the "trouble and grief" -we convinced him to come home.  That we would be fine.  In the hospital before we came home, Older sister was already making Susan cry and Susan was already running on empty.  (Susan was the love of his life.  She gave him the happiest years of his life and he taught her about love)..He made sure to secure her future.  He bought her a new washer and dryer and vacuum.  He had the house re-roofed.  Installed air conditioning.  She had been living with him for years.. My older sister resented that.  Susan is Filipino.  My older sister felt Susan was scamming him. 

So, in the hospital, for the second to the last time, I knew how he needed to take his pills.  Not like a mouthful washed down with water, but he needed to line them up and take them one at a time.  It was work to him.  He was not good with pills.  As a man,a  man who at the age of 17 lied to to get into the army (WWII)   He saw the pills as one more difficult thing to do, like a job. He needed to see how many more he had to take.  A goal, if you will.  I stayed overnight, Susan stayed over night.  My younger sister stayed overnight.  My older did not.  She started having what I can only call adult tantrums. Even my dying dad knew she was angry.  I told him she wasn't mad at him and that there wouldn't be trouble between us three girls.  He said she was mad at me.  I assured him it wasn't true.  But he was right.  Later that night at home here, I had a talk with her.  She was very angry.  It upset her that when Susan and or I came into the room, he deferred to us.  We were the ones he was used to.  We were a comfort to him and his "safe place."   I had heard her once telling dad that the pain meds he was taking would further depress his breathing.  After hearing that, I took her into the hall and said to her that while she knew that, she should not have told him that.  How scared he must have been to hear that.  I said she should have mentioned that to me or to the nurse.  His doctor wasn't on call but I asked her to come see him.  She was a comfort to him and came right in to the hospital to be with him.  He was on a bi-pap, oxygen and hated it.  She told him he didn't have to use it.  What a relief for him.  I bless her for coming in.  It helped my dad so much. 
So, to flip back to the last time he was in the hospital, came to the hospital to find out what we needed at home.  My sister jumped in and said he needed a walker and a seat for the shower and all this stuff.  She didn't like that I sat there telling the hospice gal that we did have that and that and that. 
He came back home by ambulance with the medication and oxygen which he didn't want to use and he didn't have to .  He immediately wanted a fried egg, after not eating in the hospital and then another one.  Like desperately.  So Susan fried another one and those two eggs were the last thing he ate.  Let me just interject here that Hospice means allowing him to die with dignity.  On his terms.  Palliative care only.  Both my sister's were here by then.  My older wouldn't even help with meds or anything.  She sat and read books.  But......anytime someone from hospice like a nurse or the minister or a social worker came to the house, she took the opportunity to tell each of them about all the things she had been through in her life.  She monopolized them.  They didn't know how uninvolved she was in all this.  And they were there to comfort and reassure after all.

So yeah, I am flipping back and forth here.  I know and I am sorry.
At home,
So.......little miss middlechild,  always the one who tried to smooth things over, got mad.  REALLY MAD!  I told her to leave her past issues and anger at the door before she intered the hospital.
Oh shit...I think my pen is running out of in


My name WAS Female, I shit you not! said...

Scoot over.....give me a hug m/f.

Outcast said...

I actually read all of this Middle Child and it really broke my heart for you. My uncle's a little like this right now with my grandmother, him and her aren't close at all yet because she's dying he's trying to pretend he's super close to her. It angered me to read about her telling your father that things weren't helping him considering how terrifying that must have been to hear, I feel sorry for you that you had to deal with her.

Seriously curious as to what happened next though, it sounds like your anger was genuinely justified.

The Reckmonster said...

Dang...I hate to hear how children can make am ailing/older parent miserable with their own nonsense about choices they make about partners, how to spend their money, etc. I am not surprised that you were accepting of Susan - you were able to see how she made your dad's life better - your heart is a lot bigger than most people (which is probably why it gets hurt more!). Your older sister would likely have been much happier if she had embraced what made your dad happy. At least you know that you provided comfort to your dad in his last days by not being a petty, selfish rag of a daughter.

Gnetch said...

OH. MY. GOD. Your older sister sounds like a villain in a movie. And a little racist. She actually reminds me of my uncle. My uncle is kinda like that.

So what happened next? Damn change your ink, MC! Haha!

But I really want to hear what happened next. Love you lots!

The Bipolar Diva said...

I'm so sorry you had to go through all of that. Helping someone die is hard enough without having to deal with that. I'm sorry.

Anonymous said...

I know family members aren't always easy to love, but I hope this story has a happy ending!

Furry Bottoms said...

I do not like the way she sounds! As if the world is all about her?

Middle Child said...

I am the Middle Child two older sisters and two younger ones - and can relate as almost the same things happened before and after my lovely husband died - was killed - so now only one elder and one younger still talk to learning to deal with it and move on sadly - it was too hurtful to fight