At a family gathering last year, a photo was taken of as a complete a group of my siblings and cousins as we were ever likely to manage again. Five of the eight of us. It was certainly the first time since we were all teenagers, back in the early Eighties, that so many were in the same place. It’s the most we’re likely to manage ever again.
We’ll never get all eight again in this life. One cousin was killed in a car crash when I was at college, my brother died in an motorbike accident when I was in my late twenties, and he was twenty four. I’m used to all of that now – I have occasional moments of wondering what it would’ve been like had the two of them not died so young, but, on the whole, time has done it’s work of healing.
That accounts for seven… then there’s the eighth.
I’m not sure I will ever get used to him being in and out of prison. It’s been such a long time now, and he’s certainly spent more of his adult life in prison than out of it. Until he wants to change his life, it’s going to be no different. Until he wants to deal with the deep, underlying issues that plague him, there is nothing any of us can do, but stand by.
In his eyes, I’m a complete hypocrite. If I were a proper Christian, I would do anything to help him. I’d bail him out, provide him with all his needs, and because I won’t, I don’t exist. I am a hard hearted elder sister.
I reached a point of almost no return a long time ago. I find it almost impossible to pray for him, even. Luckily, I have friends who do instead… they aren’t so emotionally involved. I’d love to have a reasonable relationship with him, but, as things are, I can’t see it happening in this world, either!
It’s been going on so long now, I forget there are people who know nothing of any of these stories! I can still get upset by the telling of them if I’m not prepared or it’s a day I’m not up for sympathy. It happened not so long ago, and I was an emotional wreck for days after… I’d been asked about family, and was I older, or younger than my sister. Me, I think it’s pretty obvious I’m an archetypical bossy eldest, and that I have/had younger brothers as well, but because I only ever talk of my sister, and her family, I can quite see how the assumption was made I have one sister only. So, I began telling the sagas. I do forget the impact it can have all in one go, as well!! Oops…
So, I’m not entirely sure who was the most emotionally exhausted at the end of the conversation, me or the one who’d foolishly (but quite wisely, really) asked what he thought was an innocent question!! It certainly was the first time in a long, long time I’ve told it all in such detail… but, actually, I probably needed to do it, if for no other reason to remind myself of it all, because occasionally it has a huge air of unreality.