Wednesday, September 03, 2008

So what *do* you tell them ... ?

It isn't really a question, more of a lamentation, I suppose ...

I found out on Memorial Day that my uncle had killed himself ... 46 years ago. My mother took care of decorating the cemeteries and sent pictures of gravestones. I was casually asking some questions and it came to how my two uncles died. I knew my one uncle had died of kidney failure. Apparently he had bad strep, and they were stationed on a base in Germany at the time and it blossomed into kidney failure, and transplants were very new and the matches had to be exact and no one was close enough so he just died. I knew most of it, but learned some details.

But my mother said something that struck me - "I guess since you're 40 I can tell you the whole story". He was the star of the high school football team, and that was going to be his ticket. But he got a bad head injury and was never the same. That much I knew - I had always been told that he had never recovered from a bad head injury from football. But there was more - it was more than two years after the football injury, and he had never straightened out, and he killed himself. They never dealt with any of it. My grandmother just blamed it on the injury and my grandfather ... who knows. I've never heard my dad talk about it.

I feel like I've been fighting an uphill battle of communications with my parents

... and that is where this draft stopped - two and a half years ago! Since then, my parents have moved to South Carolina, I have moved to New York, and this trend has continued. They were up at our house just over a week ago for a long weekend and I thought things went well, but now I'm swimming in it again. I was pretty well ready to toss it in with that relationship - it seems that every time I would try to confront them to deal with issues it would go nowhere, then there would be silence, then making 'nice nice'. But right after she left our house, my mother blabbed all sorts of things out of context to my sister, including putting my wife in a bad light yet again, and then my sister sends a 'poison pen' email, because she cannot communicate any other way. Arrgh!

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