Caretaker

by Alexa
(Denver, Colorado)

My brother died 10 years ago due to embolism. It was summer and I was on school break. My siblings went back to their jobs and left me to help my parents through their grief.


My husband and I did everything with my parents that summer and during the school year. Eight years ago my father died. He was diagnosed with acute leukemia and given 2 weeks. He wanted to be home, so my two siblings and I lived in my parents home for 4 weeks and helped with all of my dad's needs.

Shortly after my father died my sister had a blow up with my mother and other sister and left the family for 9 months. My other sister went back to her family and lifestyle leaving me behind to help my mother make sense of what was happening to her. I became her confidant, friend and found I was my fathers daughter. Dad said before he died that he had left me with a terrible burden.

I didn't understand what he meant at the time but I do now. I told him that my husband and I would take care of mom. He knew we would. For the first year I took care of Mom, took her places, called everyday and stopped in on her, had her for dinner etc... She not only grieved for my father but my sister that stomped out on her and not understanding why and the other sister that was to busy with her lifestyle to stop in to see her.

This has gone on for 8 years now. By the 6th year I was completely burnt out and trying to get back to my life and my siblings continue theirs. My sister came back, amends were made, but she treats my mother as if she's a burden. The other sister comes when she has time between her friends, parties, kids, parties etc... My mom is 84 years old, living on her own and defends the girls and how busy they are, but fails to see how busy I am too. I still make the time for my mom.

Last year she had knee replacement. Guess who spent 3 weeks at her home during the summer helping her, cooking meals, getting her to appointments. I know I probably sound very spoiled myself, but I'm tired out. When I'm not helping my mom I feel guilty. When I am helping, I feel resentful. She feels the most comfortable and safe with me. I just want to stop feeling resentful.

I've tried to talk with my sisters about this and seeing her more and explaining to them that she's lonely for them. But to no avail.

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