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.
- Self-righteous vs. Compassionate charity (goodflagbetsy.wordpress.com)
- Schepisi traces roots of family’s dysfunction in new film (ctv.ca)
- Missing Mayhem (traumatotreasure.wordpress.com)