Monday, June 21, 2010


Saturday my Mom lost her best friend/sister, Joan (see previous post). She was simply unable to recover from her injuries and of being alone on the floor of her apartment unattended and un-checked on for four days.

With her already being in ill health, this was, sadly, an inevitable outcome.

Equally sad is apathy.

I want to be clear. I didn't know Joan from a can of paint -- and vice versa. I, of course, met her several times in the course of my life but it had been years since I'd seen her with her living in northern California and myself and my clan in the southern part of the state. Joan was indeed reclusive the older she got and became more neurotic as time went on.

While my Mom acknowledged her "sister's" 'loony-ness', the fact remains that they'd been connected initially since birth and remained so.

Naturally, this is a very difficult time for my Mom.

Regardless of whether or not Joan was a part of my existence is irrelevant, the fact is that she was very much connected with my Mom throughout her entire life.

Imagine losing the person in your life who has known you the longest. They were indeed witnesses to each others lives long before husbands and children.

Upon calling a close family member to inform them of my Mom's loss, I was shocked by the apathetic attitude of: "I didn't even know the woman" kind of thing. Okay, well, neither did I but can we not still acknowledge my Mom's loss and heartache?

Another family member seemed much more in tune and empathetic when speaking to my Mom by phone while the one that I called seemed to want to make me feel positively stupid for calling (although, I refuse to do so and stand by my decision) since I received nothing but silence on the other end before informing me of their lack of acquaintance with Joan as well as that they'll simply "think about calling" my Mom to lend some support -- which, of course, they haven't; this was Saturday.

This family member has been upset with my Mom for many years stemming from bad marital choices and financial decisions and no doubt think that I coddle her.

If by "coddling" they mean that I'm able to just let go of certain things -- and the ones that I'm not able to get a grasp on, I go to therapy for...then they're absolutely right.

Hanging onto bitterness and disapproval of bad decisions, even when they affected me personally, have the earmark for an ulcer in the making, not to mention a bitter heart and soul.

I suppose I just find it interesting that people are much more apt to lend a hand to a stranger or a community (which is indeed needed and warranted, of course) but cannot reach out to a family member in need.

I felt this way when Ed and I were down, alone and scared last year that I would have LOVED a phone call from someone -- anyone -- just to say that they were thinking about us.

Or in this case praying for us as this family member is deeply rooted in Christian values.

I guess those values don't reach out to California.


Steven Anthony said...

I went through some stuff like this after my mum died, seemed strangers reached out more than family...sad isnt it.

I am sending love and hugs to you and yours my friend...if you need an ear, call me ;)

Meeko Fabulous said...

Awww. That's such saddening news. Sending X's and O's your way .

Andrea said...

It continually upsets me that those claiming to be Christians and I am NOT saying she isn't or they aren't make me look bad when I say I am a Christian. Like you, I don't get it. Can't we "Let go, and Let God" meaning remove ourselves from the equation and doing the "right thing" regarding others whether family or not. I know family can be tough...I certainly have more than my share of dysfunction in my own. They certainly keep me humble.

I am sorry I have not been around much. Lots of craziness in my personal life. I have been thinking about you and so many others. Please forgive me for not being here for you while you have been trying to help your mom.

Blessings, hugs, and prayers,

Elle said...

When I read your previous post, I was so hoping that this wouldn't be the outcome though I thought it might be. I'm so sorry for your mom's loss...sending healing thoughts her way.

So many people seem to have lost their humanity. All it takes is a little compassion, but some people can't even manage that. I'm so glad that you're there for your mom, and that you tried to reach out to get her extra support. I hope her good memories of her friend can aid her in her grief and healing.

Jaynie Martin said...

I have a huge, huge family and sadly for some time ive felt they care little for me... through out my illness those i have given my all to, those i love and are supposed to love me back, did little or nothing .. mostly nothing :/ so im not surprised jo. I have wondered lately why when i go out of my way to make sure they know im there for them ?? Even for my 50th birthday recently my friends did much more than family most family didnt even acknowledge the fact and say happy birthday .... how sad, but one thing i do know is that i will never be like them even though they may continue to ignore my being ... I DONT want to be like them and im glad like me jo, we can hold our heads a little higher because at the very least we make an effort for our families how ever distant in miles or lives, what ever there attitudes towards us.
Deepest sympathys for you your mum and family jo xxx

Bossy Betty said...

Lots to think about here. I think sometimes we do overlook the small gestures that mean so much to others. Thanks for reminding us!