12 March 2010

Feeling a little guilty about not feeling very bad.

My phone rang at about 6:45 this morning. It was my mom. There's no good news that comes from your parents before 7:00 a.m.

Sometime in the wee hours of the morning, my grandpa fell. He hit his head and was now in the hospital with a massive blood clot/bleeding in the brain ... I'm not entirely sure, but it sounded like a very serious head injury. Because he's 92 and on a variety of blood thinners due to heart problems, my mom, her sisters and my grandma decided to not have him undergo surgery. The doctor said there was a small chance he'd recover, but he'd never be the same/be able to live at home any longer. Most likely, though, it's only a matter of time.

It's the only bad news call I think I've ever received that didn't faze me at all. I've written about these grandparents before. I can't seem to find a post where I've written extensively about how they treated their Catholic grandchildren like red-headed stepchildren, while doting on their Lutheran grandchildren to the point of having extra, secret Christmases with them. I could have sworn I wrote about how they treated my mom horribly -- making her essentially raise her sisters, telling her she'd never have any friends if she married my Catholic father and then not speaking to her for six months after they got married.

Grandma has dementia now, which hasn't made her any less crazy, in my eyes. It has just left her unable to hide how selfish and awful she is. I always thought Grandpa was weak and allowed her to dominate everything, but I realized he wasn't exactly a great person either when my aunt recounted a conversation she had with him. She said, "You know, Dad, I've always gotten the feeling that you never really liked me." He didn't say anything at first. She said, "Dad?" He sat there for a minute and then said, "Sorry you feel that way."

That's when the full realization hit me. The more I hear from my mom and aunts (but not the evil aunts ... they're the ones insisting Grandpa and Grandma don't need to go to an assisted living facility, but won't do anything to help them) about how their parents treated them, the more I grow to dislike these people. I see no reason to have any relationship with them. I don't want to talk to them or even be remotely civil to them.

So, here I am, trying to feel something. I feel bad because, despite the fact that they treated her awfully, they're still my mom's parents and I think she at least kind of loves them. Or maybe it's just that she feels she should, because they are her parents. I don't really know. So, I feel sad for her, and for my non-evil aunts. I feel like I should maybe feel sad for my cousins who were much closer to our grandparents than I was. But then again, they were favored because they weren't horrible, horrible Catholics. And I feel like I should feel a little bad because he is my grandpa. Yet, I'm having a hard time feeling much, which makes me feel bad.

The ridiculous thing is, all this self-torment might be a bit premature. Apparently, Grandpa was sitting up and talking this afternoon. I wonder if the maybe the doctor from Arrested Development didn't get himself a new gig.

4 comments:

Respectfully Yours said...

I appreciate how you are feeling. It is difficult to love someone that hurt someone so close to you. (your mom) All I can say is hope he goes peacefully and without pain and let God deal with the rest. It will feel much healthier for you. PS Just be there to support your mom...that is important. HUGS

Rafa said...

Terrible.
Why bad things happen before 7:00 am?
I'm sorry for your granpa.
A family divided by religion? I don't understand that.
Sorry for my english.

Bye, Minnesota. Hugs from Spain.

Anonymous said...

yes, i remember how it felt to find out that my relations were not all nice people. our family's issues revolved around money, or the lack thereof, not religion. still not fun to deal with, have not had anything to do with most of my relatives in years. no, i really don't miss them.
I hope things get better for you and your family, tho.
Barbara

Jess said...

Rafa, no se preocupe. Su ingles es muy bien.

Religion isn't the only thing wrong with the family. Money/greed/selfishness/etc. are all parts of the messed-up relationships. What fun!

Thanks to all of you. I'm lucky to have my dad's side of the family, which is the polar opposite of my mom's side. Things aren't all bad.