Saturday, March 24, 2007

I have a brother

I have a brother. I have never really blogged about him because we have a complicated relationship. He is 12 years older than I am and to be truthful we are complete opposites in every aspect of life. He has lived a high rollers life of Aspen in the winter, Vegas in the spring et cetera. The only problem is that he is NOT wealthy, he has just lived as though he were. Now he is sick and has nothing to fall back on. No money, no health insurance and not too many people that want to be around him for any length of time because he can be very obnoxious. It makes me very sad but on the other hand there are so many things that he did or didn’t do that caused him to be like this that it is hard to feel too much sympathy while at the same time, loving him because he is my brother. When our mom was dying he was trying to "score" with his soon to be second ex wife and they hopped a plane, headed to California…she had never been there…and I sat in shock watching our mom die while I was cradling my 6 week old baby that was finally born healthy after the pregnancy from hell. Oh, he DID call every day to ask how she was doing..the conversations went something like this: Him: How is she. Me: Awful. I can barely recognize her. The resident perforated her colon today doing a colonoscopy because they saw a "spot" of blood in her underwear. She has kidney failure, is headed for sepsis, is conscious on the vent and they had to do a fasciotomy in both lower legs so they wouldn’t explode. She is so sick that they may have to open her up to replace the graft they put in last year for her AAA that has become grossly infected because it is synthetic and antibiotics won't help. The ICU nurses are angels sent from heaven and have been doing their best to make her comfortable even confronting some of the docs that have written her off. Him: Okay. Well, let me know if there is anything I can do. Me: Yeah, whatever. Hope you are enjoying your trip. (You worthless motherfucker. I am here watching the woman that has supported you your entire worthless life both emotionally and financially. Don’t worry about stopping by, my C-section barely hurts anymore and son#1 is such a great toddler that he doesn’t even mind that he is spending his days in a hospital waiting room since they have building blocks. ) Okay.. I didn’t actually say that but I wanted to more than you can imagine). Him: Oh, good. I will check in with you tomorrow. Do you think she is really sick? Do you want me to come back east? Me: You do whatever you have to do to live with yourself. (I can’t believe you are even asking..she is our mother you asshole..where else should you be??!!..again thought but not said). At one time I wondered if I was being too hard on him. Maybe he didn’t handle stress well, and when I talked to several friends and Big D, they looked at me like I had lost my mind. None of them could comprehend how his head had gotten so far up his ass. They all knew my mom and what an amazing woman she was. I think before she died my mom summed up my brother in very few words…. "I am starting to see traits of his father in him" . For my mom that was a loaded statement and she was very sad when she said it. (For the record my father was also an asshole. He was a violent drunk and the smartest and bravest thing my mom did was divorce him in a time in history when divorce was not the norm…and she was catholic to boot.) Anyway, what started this whole post is that my brother is sick and has nobody. He has kids that have a very at-arms-length- relationship though they love him. Like I said, it is very complicated. He is too young for Medicare, has no insurance and tons of health problems (some of which can be attributed to smoking, drinking, and lifestyle) and not one doctor will touch him. He has been "dismissed" by more than one doctor…I can't blame them, I am sure they are afraid he will sue if he isn't "cured". He is always looking for a way to make a quick buck and it is obvious. He was in the hospital a couple of weeks ago for nothing life threatening but I had flashes of him going downhill at some point and wondering who would be there for him….even with our complicated history, I wouldn’t hesitate to be there for him, sit with him and be sure he wasn’t alone. Ironically one of his kids lives 15 minutes from him but can't seem to make the time to visit…hmmmm, like father like son??


Colette said...

You are a good sister saying you would sit with him...I know that is hard to say. I was just telling hubby that his father is going to be one sorry mfer when he is old, the way he treats his family! God Bless! and hugs too!

Anonymous said...

You are a good sister.

I guess what goes around comes around.

steph said...

That is complicated. Although my brother isn't that bad, he makes himself scarce more often then not. I buy the presents and put his name on them. Sometimes he pays me back, sometimes he doesn't. And he is rich.
All you can do is be yourself and do what you know is the right thing. Not because he deserves it, but b/c you know you'd regret not being there.
You'll know your limits when the time comes.