So. I said I wasn’t going to blog about my youngest brother anymore. I lied. Because here I am again. Maybe this is the last time I’ll use this space to discuss him – who knows?
~ ~ ~ ~ picture it, Christmas Day 2013 ~ ~ ~ ~
Christmas Day I get a text from my Mom. It’s a picture actually. Of my brother, his wife, and their two children. I think “oh, isn’t that nice, they sent my Mom a pic so she could see the kids.” But wait. I recognize the background. The picture is of them outside of my Grandma’s house. In Los Angeles. California.
So I text my Mom back the only thing I could “uh, is that X and his people? In California? At Grandma’s?????”
Yep, sure was.
My Mom said she walked in my Grandma’s house, said a general “hey, Merry Christmas y’all, let me put these cheesecakes down” and then she thought she saw my brother, but figured she was tripping. So she went in the kitchen, put the cheesecakes down, came back and stood in front of my brother and said ” X is that you?” “Yes. How are you mother?” Here we go with this ultra formal foolishness…
Anyhoo, turns out that my brother called my Grandma’s house one day about a week earlier and my uncle answered the phone and told my brother that Grandma was in the hospital. Which he would’ve known if he, oh, I don’t know, talked to his family….So from what we gather, they decided to take a week’s vacation and spend it in California checking in on my Grandma and playing tourists when not visiting at the hospital. Back to Christmas – my mom and dad tried to engage him in conversation, he wasn’t having it, nor was his wife. They were polite, but distant. My Mom did say the kids are really sweet and friendly. So there’s that. At some point my Mom asked if they were planning on coming to the house. “No.” Sigh.
After about an hour, they wished everyone a Merry Christmas and rolled out. My Mom says she didn’t see him anymore while they were in CA. My Grandma or aunt would say “X and his family came by today,” but the extent of his visit with my parents was that 60 minutes or so on Christmas Day. (I told my Mom a few years back I wouldn’t be surprised to learn he’d done something along these lines – in and out without contacting them – guess I was right)
~ ~ ~ ~ Fast forward to Friday, January 3 ~ ~ ~ ~
My Mom calls and lets me know my Grandmother died. She asks me to call my brothers and let them know. So I call Brother 1 and tell him. Brother 2 doesn’t answer, so I call Brother 3 (X) who, of course, doesn’t answer. Brother 2 calls back and I give him the news. Then I tell him that I tried to call X and let him know, but dude didn’t answer and I didn’t want to leave a VM or send a text to tell him Grandma’s died. So Brother 2 says he’s just gonna call X at work and let him know. Which is what he does. About 10 minutes later my phone rings “This is X. I’m returning your call.” Sigh. “Dude. I was just calling to let you know about Grandma. But I know you know, so really, that’s all.” So he asked about my family and I asked about his. Then I told him I’d call him back with the details about the services, or if he preferred I’d send a text. And that’s when he tells me he’s not going to the funeral – he saw Grandma alive and has no interest in attending her funeral. I say okay, take it easy, and the conversation ends.
~ ~ ~ ~ Fast forward to today ~ ~ ~ ~
I just don’t care anymore. If we talk, we talk. If we don’t, we don’t.
At the same time, I do still pray for reconciliation between him and the rest of us.
I pray that God not harden my heart toward my brother.
I wish he and his family the best. I pray for them just like I pray over my other brothers, SILs, nieces and nephews.
I can’t believe he’s not coming to the funeral. I know some people don’t “do” funerals and I get that (but not really), and I know my Grandma doesn’t care if he’s there or not, but I think it’s disrespectful not to attend when you have the means to do so.
I think I’ve gone through most of Kubler-Ross’ 5 stages of grief when it comes to my brother and his self-imposed exile from the family – denial, anger, bargaining, and acceptance. I most surely have not been depressed over his antics.
I’m 41. X is 30. I do know that life has a way of handing your ass to you in ways you’d never expect and that he’d better pray to God above that his family never hurts him the way he’s hurt his.
And that’s all I’ve got.