When Concern Is a Disguise

A sunset in the Arizona desert near Scottsdale...

Arizona Desert Sunset

I was riding in the back of the van early one sunny Fall morning with some family members when I heard the phone ring.  My mother answered a call from a niece we seldom hear from.  Judging from the conversation, there was some not so pleasant news, at least to my mother’s ears.  After she hung up, she commented, “D is worried about her older sister M. M’s oldest daughter recently moved to Arizona with her boyfriend of five years. They both got a job there.  D is worried M’s daughter is living in sin and M is stressed by all this.”

I rolled my eyes and looked out the window, fuming quietly.  We just had lunch not too long ago with M.  We were in her neck of the woods, on business.  So we called her, if she might be available to take some time to see us.  When she joined us for lunch, we all agreed she looked great.  She had a calm and peaceful aura about her.

She told us that she has truly become an empty nester, in almost every sense of the word. Her father passed away the year before and all the drama over the family dysfunction has finally died down.  Her husband has found a job he likes in Southern California, but it means being away for stretches of 1-2 weeks at a time. Her two daughters are adults and are out of the house.   The older one found a job in Arizona and has moved there. The younger one is doing her post-graduate studies and lives on the university campus.  She visits every so often.

M has her life to herself, finally.  No more worrying what to cook for dinner or who’s coming home and when, or getting the laundry done on time.  She proudly told us that she may be coming home to an empty house some days but the respite has been more than comforting and even calming for her frayed nerves.  The few years that led to the passing of her father, with the frequent trips across the globe, the long distance calls in the ungodliest hours of the night, the tedious meetings with the lawyers and bankers, and the eventual signing of documents over the estate, —all these may seem a distant memory but she still felt she needed more time to recover and move on with her life.

She also told us that she rather likes being at least three hours away from her nearest sib and thousands of miles from the others.  I found this amusing, considering that the battle over, at first, whatever her mother left after her passing in the 80’s and then recently, her father’s estate, was anything but smooth sailing.  She wishes all of them well, she said, but a reunion every so often and not even that often, is enough.

I thought about the “concerned” sister.  I really have a problem with people feigning concern over their perceived misfortune of another, especially when it’s obviously misguided and misplaced.  It is nothing but judgmental behavior, the You-poor-thing-I’m-really-better-off-than-you of someone so self-righteous they can’t see beyond their pointy noses.  It serves no one but the perpetuation of the myopia in these medieval thinkers.

This entry was posted in Family, malice, self-righteousness, Siblings and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to When Concern Is a Disguise

  1. Your comment inspired me. Keeping you daughter’s Christmas ornaments is very. Endearing. I wish to do the same. Beautiful photo to match a post with loving thoughts for her family. Your daughter and hubby are so lucky to have you in their lives. Merry Christmas. Wishing your family the best.


  2. auntyuta says:

    It is interesting that in some families people want to stay away from their sibs as much as possible. That someone’s so called concern can look judgmental is no surprise to me. I guess it happens in many families.
    It sounds like M’s been through a lot. She’s probably a strong character and able to adjust to an empty nester style of life.
    Katherine’s Rabbi sounds great. I’d probably love him too.


  3. Left the Presbyterian church the Religion Society of Friends. Hate people being judged and even among the Quakers supposedly the most tolerant of the Christians there was judging. Loved that the Jews don’t seek converts, loved that the Orthodox Rabbi said at the end of my conversion ceremony,
    “I taught you the law, not it is between you and G-d.” Love my current shul where the Rabbi is much the same and there are cowboy hats mixed in with the black hats of the Hassidic. Some never go the services as the Rabbi has lectures and lessons for those who aren’t into prayer of even god.

    Still there are people there who try to be helpful but are always deciding who needs to become more religious.

    G-d save us all from self-righteousness and righteous indignation. The need to be holier than thou is man and woman’s problem not any thing worthy of god-ship.

    Stay strong.


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