Tuesday, July 01, 2008


My house is quiet.

Praise the Lord!

At the same time, I feel guilty for delighting in the quiet. The life my sister and her kids return to is not an easy one. From where I sit, all the signs are there that her sorry-ass husband is cheating on her again. She doesn't want to see it, though. If she found out, she'd have to do something about it, and she feels trapped and without options. She has multiple physical problems (in addition to the nearly-being-electrocuted thing), so her ability to work is limited.

And this jackass won't raise a finger to help her. I'm not talking just that he won't do dishes or take out the trash. I mean, the kind of thing where he just drops trash on the floor where he sits and never wipes up his own spills.

However, he's the father of her kids. And one of those kids has some severe emotional problems. She really questions whether he'd survive a divorce. This poor child walks a fine line daily. You see it in his eyes; he has pretty brown eyes, but they betray a fragility that seems to be teetering on the brink of disaster moment-to-moment. He is the sweetest child, and I often fear for him.

Not that my sister is a stellar mother. That instinct just isn't huge with her. This same fragile child never got a birthday party this year. She promised it, again and again, but it never happened. His birthday is in March. When my mom went to visit a month ago, she discovered his birthday presents in the closet, still wrapped. It was his tenth birthday - a big one for a kid.

That just breaks my heart.

When they left, he put his arms around me and hugged me tight. He wouldn't let go, so I didn't let go either. He was crying. "It's so hard to say goodbye to you," he said, through his tears. Being at my house lets him relax a little, relieving some of the daily stress he puts on himself because he tries so hard to take care of his little sister and his mother.

As they went out the door, my sister hugged me tightly, too. As I held onto her, she started sobbing. "I don't want to go home," she said.

"I know," I said. "Just call if you need anything, okay?" It's the best I can offer, to be her lifeline.

And so she headed home. At the Denver airport, some dumbass at Southwest Airlines wouldn't let her pre-board. I mean, picture this: She sees a woman at the gate for the 6:30 AM flight who is walking with a cane and can't use her right arm (it's in a sling). She has three children with her, ages 12, 10, and 6. All hyperactive. The woman asks to pre-board because this airline doesn't have assigned seats and she's not fit to fight a crowd.

This idiot looks at her and says, "I think you have enough help."

Brilliant. Just brilliant. Someone is going to hear about that.

She gets home. Her son has lost his cell phone, so she calls to replace it. She pays the $50. Ten minutes later, my neighbor comes knocking at my door. She's found my nephew's cell phone at her house. My sister calls to cancel the replacement order, but is told...no way. No refunds.

Then, my sister loads up for the grocery store. She leaves their dogs in the backyard. While she's gone, someone starts shooting off fireworks in her neighborhood. Her little dog freaks and digs out of the yard. He doesn't have tags on his collar. Needless to say, they are sad and worried.

I like that my life is getting back to normal, but I'm nagged with the feeling that my sister's life is just not right. I wish I could do something to make it better. It's hard to see what she and her kids go through, all the time. Yes, she has a bit of that Black Cloud Syndrome, but then there's just her daily challenges. it's a helpless feeling.


muse said...

These are not little calgon things. I think it is enough for you to be her lifeline. As for the kids, maybe sometime subtle reminders from you in the form of questions would help, "What do you have planned for '10 year's old' birthday." As for her husband? He is a slob and a cheat and she knows it, but at this point he may also be her only stability. However warped we see it.

Walker said...

Its hard sitting on the sidelines watching someone you care for suffering when you are doing better.

I think you did the best thing by telling her is she needs anything to call her.
Its to bad her husband is a wanker and a sad example of a human being.

The guy at the airport was probably related to her AH husband she should have taken her cane and whacked him over the head and said it was an accident while falling because hse didn't have any help.

I think as time moves on people are becoming more insensitive to other peoples needs and kindness flies out the window.

Blogget Jones said...

Muse -- you are so wise! Thank you, and I'll keep that in mind.

Walker -- you're wise, too! It's sad but I see that insensitivity you are talking about. But the scenario at the airport was funny! I wish I'd thought to tell her that at the time!

:o) BJ