I call my mom about once every two weeks now. Since the baby’s arrival, this frequency is probably the most that I can tolerate while still being sane. I recently found out that my uncle, my dad’s brother, had to have hip surgery; one hip had to be completely replaced. My cousin drove him to the hospital while a neighbor picked him up and offered to stay overnight with him to help him out since he’d have limited mobility. My parents have known about the hip surgery this entire time but never called or suggested they come over to visit or help. I knew this would be the case: my dad has a terrible relationship with his one living brother, and he holds grudges against him from their high school days. But eight years ago, when my dad had his heart surgery, my uncle was kind and visited him twice, once in the hospital and once at home. Nine years ago, when my brother died, he took my dad out to eat for his birthday the week after the funeral. He seemingly tried to forge some kind of relationship, but my dad is so socially awkward and blind that he couldn’t see that.
My mom was aware of the surgery, so she asked me about it. I asked her why she had to ask me when she could just call or text him herself. She got pretty angry and basically went off on a tangent, ranting about almost all the things my uncle has done that have been rude or mean or taken advantage of her and my dad. For a while, I just zoned out and did my work as she vented. I’d heard most of these stories before multiple times, but she loves to repeat herself and show she’s always the victim. I don’t doubt the truth in any of these stories, but I also don’t see a reason to constantly talk about the past. It wouldn’t hurt to drop off a single meal for his brother, but I know my dad wouldn’t do it. Grudges run deep with both my parents; forgiveness is not something they believe in.
I never suggested they bring something, though. But she got angry at me and said I’m asking too much to ask her to bring something for him.
“Ummm, do you hear anything that I say on the phone? I never asked you to do anything,” I said, while rolling my eyes internally.
“Oh, you didn’t?” my mom responded. “Well, you should forgive me! I’m disabled!!”
That sounded a bit facetious and sarcastic at the same time, but I let it go.