Friday, April 23, 2010

Brothers health might stretch my support thin...

After a few hours of sleep I'm wide awake and worrying in the wee hours of the morning.   My husband and I spent the past week at my Mom's house with my brother who's 18 years older than me.  He's living at her home now, paying all the household bills and tending to the lawn, etc.  It's beneficial for Mom and also for him.  I don't care for some of the things he does and sometimes I don't care much for him but this morning, I'm really worried about him.  He seems different and weak and vulnerable.  I am afraid something is wrong and that some day, I'll have to tell my Mom that her son is seriously ill.  What's worse than learning that your child is ill or dieing?  It will be tough for us all.

I can't help but think about my brother and feel for him - just WHAT I feel is what's keeping me awake.  My brother is not what I'd call a nice guy - at least not to those in his family.  He's been kind, generous and even loving to friends and even total strangers.  To us he's most often mean and impatient. He speaks with NO regard to people's feelings and drinks WAY too much which makes his attitude even more rude and crude. Yet....no matter how much of a jerk he is, when any of us - parents, siblings, cousins, nieces or nephews - has really needed something or someone, he's come through.   For all his hurtful crap, he's as dependable as the morning; sometimes that's a cold, grey morning but it's still morning.  His attitudes indicate he doesn't like people, wants nothing to do with them or with us, yet lately he's showing some tenderness here and there that makes me reconsider what's really important.  His tendency to push everyone way might just mean that he needs some support all the more right now.   I won't do it because I care deeply for him or because he's been loving to me but I'll do it for myself.  It's selfish I suppose but I couldn't feel good about myself if I left him feeling that no one gave a damn.  I feel I owe him something, although I consider all "debts", both figurative and literal, well paid in full.   I just can't let him be completely alone and without a soul to care.  My husband and I fear that fate someday - no children and nieces and nephews scattered and busy with their own lives, who'll give a damn about us?  We'll have to be secure knowing that someone REALLY, REALLY loved us and cared dearly one point  in our lives even if one of us ends up alone. My brother doesn't have that to comfort him so I'll do what I can and feel good that I was able to show kindness to someone who could not show it to his family.  Some people might call me a martyr for that attitude but let them.   They don't have to live with ME.  I have to live with me, I have to look myself in the mirror everyday and I'd see something really bad if I weren't there for him.