Monday, June 21, 2010
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?
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.