Over a week ago, I emailed my sister asking when she planned to visit dad. I reminded her that I had some things she had made for mom and wanted to give them back to her. I also had some of dad’s furniture in my garage and need to give it away to make room in the garage. I suggested she should spend a night at my house rather than make the trip both ways in one day.
She didn’t respond to my first email so after a week, I sent another and mentioned that I was giving a lot of things to charity and if she didn’t respond soon, I would be giving the furniture away and maybe the handmade items as well.
Then, as I expected, she responded. For some reason, she will often ignore my emails and letters. I know she is sometimes depressed and she has always felt that as the older sister I was too bossy.
Still, she said she moved to this state to be near dad and would be visiting him about once a month. She has seen him only twice since she got to this state in December. She has no car so that is not totally surprising.
This week I finally got a response from her. She said my brother (who lives in dad’s house 400 miles from here) was planning to come the end of this month or early next month to visit dad. And she would be coming with him. She didn’t know when he would come so couldn’t give me a heads up on the dates. She did want the handmade items and small furniture if it would fit in brother’s car. She didn’t mention if she planned to stay at my house. My brother stays in a hotel nearby and likes to keep his own hours and plans. But my sister is not employed and doesn’t have much in the way of financial resources so I doubt she could afford a hotel.
This visit will be a mixed blessing. For many years, my sister and I were quite close. But in the past few years she was extremely jealous of me and my close relationship with my mother. She wrote some very nasty letters about me to my mother. And though mom was very upset about these letters, she read them to me and she saved them.
Still, I have only one sister. We have only one parent left now and dad is not going to be around that much longer. I would love to have a helper in dad’s care, but that is not likely to happen. She lives too far away and doesn’t really want that type of responsibility. Ditto for my brother who seems to have decided that 2 visits a year are about perfect for his relationship with dad. Still he does call dad once a week or more which is more than my sister has done.
My relationship with my brother is strained by my frustration about the fact that he lives in dad’s house and pays no rent. My brother is old enough to retire but says he can’t afford to. In the meantime his income is greater than mine, my father’s and my sister’s combined. Dad pays the taxes and insurance on the house. I have asked multiple times for my brother to at least pick up those expenses. He says he “agrees in principle” but doesn’t do any more than that. Recently he held out the possibility that his financial advisor might find a way for him to do more. I’m not holding my breath. Unfortunately my frustration eats at me because I am trying so hard to manage dad’s resources to last as long as possible.
I hope we can get through this visit civilly without any major blow-ups. We need to talk about serious issues such as end of life care and funeral plans for dad while we are together. Dad is fine for now, but as I saw with mom, it was less than 3 weeks from her fall to her death. I just want to be prepared without dwelling on death and dying.
While dad is fine now, I’m sure he would enjoy a visit from my sister and my brother. I will try to give them time together without me though I won’t avoid them all together. Dad gets tired and wants to nap several times during the day. My sister visited once in March while I was still on vacation in the south. She had come with a friend who had a car and they left after 30 minutes because dad wanted to nap. When my brother visited dad last November, he just remained in the room or toured the nursing home (where dad was at that time) during the time that dad napped.
In preparation for this visit, I have begun setting aside a box of items for my sister. This includes those my sister had made for mom and dad as well as a lot of costume jewelry and some small things they had in their mobile home. My sister had said she wanted some things to remember them by.
So, I really don’t know if I will be having visitors for the holiday weekend. Since my brother refuses to set a date in advance for his travels, my sister and I will be guessing until he announces his intentions (probably just days before). However, since he is employed, it seems likely that he will have the holiday weekend off for travel. (It is also interesting to note that my brother has not notified me that he intends to visit here at all. He may figure that since he doesn’t stay at my house, I don’t need to know. But we did have some meals together last time and I expect we will again this time.)
For now I will just have to wait and see.