When your help is no longer appreciated by family members do you keep a stiff upper lip, or do you move on???
Alright, I don’t get family. I mean I do, but I don’t. How is that family can totally and completely misconstrue aid, and turn it into something petty? Like WTAF.
Here’s the story, I don’t know if any of you have put the pieces of my life together yet, so if you haven’t let me give you the Cole’s notes version of it.
My dad had an affair when I was thirteen, as is always the case when people have affairs, they almost always get caught. Often times an affair doesn’t destroy a union, what destroys the union post affair is coming to terms with whether or not there is anything in the relationship to salvage. Where my parents were concerned there was nothing. I don’t remember if I cried or what, when we were told that dad was leaving, but let’s put it this way, our lives were the better for it. As it turns out “the other woman” did us all a huge favour; one that to this day, I’m still thankful for.
My mother never paraded a lover under our noses. She committed her entire life, or so it seemed at the time to give us all the normal things that other kids got. Dance classes for me, competitive hockey for my brothers. My father barely contributed. And that was fine, he had a new life, a new wife, and shortly there after three kids of his own. My mother included them in almost every single family holiday, all the big ones and any time she hosted a birthday party for any one of us three. She was the epitome of class, patience, devotion, and stability. Later, much later, she met an amazing man, as in eighteen years ago, married him and has had the time of her life. Luc is the best thing that has ever happened to her, and all the things she went without while married to my father are a distant memory. She has met her great life adventure partner, and I couldn’t be more thankful that this is how her life played out. She deserves it, completely.
My dad also got in his second wife his perfect mate. There is nobody on this planet that I could actually see being as patient as Cheryl has been with him. She stood by him through his alcoholism and has now enjoyed the last twelve years with him sober. They’ve had beautiful houses in nice suburban neighborhoods. It was the best outcome for everybody involved.
Why do I tell you all this? I tell you because it’s important that you all understand that my two brothers from the first marriage and I have never harbored any ill will toward my dad and his wife. Was it shitty when we “lost” our father? Ahhhh, yeah. Was it the worst thing that happened to us? Actually no, no it wasn’t at all. In fact I believe it was the best thing for everyone in my family. Were us three “original” kids pissed when he had three more and gave them a roof over their heads, while we were getting evicted from ours? Ahhhh, fuck yeah. But did we ever make our three half siblings pay, at all? No. No we did not. We happily attended birthday parties, and had them in our homes for summer BBQ’s, you name it. They were after all, family, and children. And where we come from “children aren’t responsible for the sins of their parents.”
Since all has been good for thirty five years, why now, all these years later as our father’s dementia progresses, and the three elder siblings with more life knowledge, financial know how, and resources are trying to offer up practical life solutions to their challenges are we being accused of acting superior??? Things that really make me go “hmmm.”
Life is busy. Life is messy. Life is complicated. Life is also really fucking good at throwing us curve-balls.
Nobody has any time for drama, especially when this person is me, and is only trying to help. My fifteen life plates are overflowing, I honestly don’t have the time to be lending a helping hand where I’m being accused of ulterior motives. But I mean come on it’s family, can’t we just all get along and trust one another as being on the same page, wanting the same thing. The best for our father???
Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm.