April 23, 2017
My brother and I have taken my mother’s death two completely different ways. He was there when she passed on, and I think having to watch both her and his father die was traumatic. I, on the other hand, chose to stay in Thailand both times, even though my mother wanted to see me one last time.
On one hand, I definitely feel for my brother. We’ve experienced the losses of six immediate family members in the past ten years, including a rather violent death of an aunt by a little piece of shit who was driving drunk. I honestly don’t think anybody deserves what has happened to us.
But on the other hand, they were his meal ticket. Even in his 30s they were bailing him out. My perspective is much different. My stepfather kept trying to throw me out of the nest, and my mother’s only role was to try and see that the fall didn’t kill me. With my brother, he could wreck a vehicle being stupid and have a new one later in the week. Our upbringings and what we were given were so fucking disproportional, even on holidays and birthdays. And they set my brother up for failure by never letting him fix anything on his own, and you can add that to the list of reasons I resent them.
And he milked it. He dry-humped that cash cow until the bitter end. He even moved into mom’s house with his girlfriend when she was Stage 4. It wasn’t to take care of her, either. They both had no money. They both weren’t working regularly. Even my aunt who is in charge of the estate is trying to push the money in my direction because he took all of mom’s furniture and both vehicles. He stripped the place down, refusing to carry out her wishes that those things go to the church.
I was no different early on. When he had his son at 19 years old, I was right there to try and help him out as well. But he got too greedy, and I cut him off. One day he had the audacity to ask me why I didn’t give him more, and that was that. He brought me a few shitty bags of weed when I was in grad school, but it hardly counts when you stick around all day expecting me to smoke half of the bag with you. He has a track record for being a mooch, one with an incredibly short memory.
I had to browbeat him for months to compensate me for all the stuff in mom’s house, because once again those were the wishes of our mother. She knew he was probably going to take everything, so she told my aunt to just take a certain dollar amount out of his half of the estate. I didn’t want to take the legal avenue with my own family (and I also didn’t want an aunt I’ve only met twice to arbitrate our conflict), so I came down on him for months until he finally sobered up and realized I was the only family he has left. I settled for a thousand dollars, and since then we have been cool.
But when this is all over, I’m not sure whether or not I want anything to do with the little fucker. The only reason I speak to him at all is because he is holding most of my stuff. Mom was storing things from my childhood, sentimental items like stuff from high school, a stamp collection, a coin collection, my old books and writing, and even some cool stuff I managed to save from elementary school. After that, I suspect that he can go fuck himself.
However, it isn’t fair to just make my mind up that I will still be pissed off at him in a year. He has taken some strides to correct his life, and I will say he definitely shut me up when he forked over the money. But when he contacts me saying shit like “I wish I could talk to mom,” I do get irritated. It’s not that I doubt that they had good talks. Even I had a good talk with mom every once in a while. However, I can’t help but wonder why he misses her and what he misses. I don’t miss either of them. I don’t miss anybody. I was just getting to know Aunt Lynn when she was killed.
Holy shit, Matthew. I think I might be a little more messed up than I originally suspected.
He’s more normal than me for missing them. I’ll grant you that. Outside of this, however, I am still very cynical because of all the times they spoiled him rotten and he took them for granted. I only got about twenty percent from mom and about two percent from my stepdad, because my brother needed all of their attention and resources. It’s hard to let that go overnight. He tends to think I never wanted a relationship, when the truth is I hung in there long after it was even advisable.
People can change. I don’t doubt that. A guy like my brother, though… I think he needs more time for these things to be truly sincere. For right now I think he knows I’m the only family member left who will talk with him, and I don’t want him thinking I’m going to be his shoulder or his rock. A thousand dollars was enough to placate my ire, but it is not enough to make up for what a shitty person he has been.
Let him go without for a little longer. Maybe he’ll come around.
Screw it. Time for some more coffee, and then some stretching before I go back to this badass country club gym. Time to work out some more of my irritation.