The Most Unpopular Post on the Baptist Board

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by LadyEagle, Jul 24, 2002.

  1. LadyEagle

    LadyEagle
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    This will no doubt be the most unpopular post on the BB, but I feel I must rant. This post is mainly directed to the men--as I woman, I probably would not be permitted to post in the Men Only section, so I continue here.

    This is something that has bothered me for a long time. :(

    It is about aging parents. It is about honoring your mother and father. It is about old age. It is about how our society has changed. And I wonder why it is so.

    Why is it that most of the time in the majority of families I know of, it is only one child (usually a daughter), who is left with the responsibility of aging parents? Why is this? Let me cite some examples from families I know of. Mind you, these are "Christian" families.

    An elderly couple I know get by the best they can on Social Security and a little pension. This couple scraped to send their two sons to college. Today, both sons have extremely well paying jobs, out of state. One son is VP of one of the largest corporations in America. He recently sold his 2.5 million dollar home for a smaller home, as his children are grown, so settled for a smaller only million dollar home. Would it ever occur to him to call his parents & ask if they need anything? No. The couple’s car was so old and in need of repairs it wouldn’t run any longer. The other son did call a local dealer and paid for his dad a new car. All the man had to do was get to the dealer and pick up the new car. The VP son never inquires as to anything that might be needed. It would never cross his mind to even offer to buy them anything, send money, whatever.

    Another man I know lives with his mother. After his divorce some 25 years ago, he never remarried, but moved back home. His mother is in her 80s. She ambulates with a walker. I mentioned many times to this person how nice it would be if his mom could live on a one-floor plan. There is no bathroom on the main floor of this big, falling down, 2-story house. He is too cheap to invest in another home, even for the sake of his mother’s convenience. He is a millionare, as well, with years of saving (on rent) and playing the stock market. He has no responsibilities other than to look after his mother, no children, no heirs. His mom is a widow. She, at 80 plus years old, must go up and down the stairs to the bathroom. She has multiple health problems. She must go down narrow steps to the cellar to do laundry. The kitchen is so old, counter tops have linoleum that have chipped away. Remodel the kitchen? No, too much money. Hire a sitter while he is at work? No, costs too much.

    Another case: A woman I know has cerebral palsy. Her sister has cerebral palsy as well and her dad is in his 80s. She has 7 other brothers & sisters. None of them ever call to see if these 3 need anything. No one chips in to pay bills, buy medicine, see if they need food or anything. She says to me, "I grew up in the same household as all of these people, but I don’t know any of them. They just don’t care whether we live or die."

    Another example: The daughter moved from out of state to get her mom out of a big 2-story house into a one-floor plan. There is a brother & sister-in-law who live in the same town. Never a phone call to see if anything is needed, an errand, help with paying for prescription drugs, taking to doctor appointments, help with anything around the house or yard, not even a call just to check & see how things are. Too busy. The mom had surgery. They couldn’t even go visit or be there during the surgery. Not even a phone call to see how surgery went.

    My list of examples could go on and on. Where is it written that one child out of a whole household of children is to assume all care for aging parents? What if that one caregiver was no longer able to hold down those responsibilities? In my family, I volunteered because nobody else seemed to care what happened to my widowed mother. What if I weren’t around, then what? My siblings are in la-la land, and the thought would never even cross their self-centered minds that mom might need something. Or that I could use help. (even though I have mentioned it quite a few times, the cry for help goes unheeded) The sad part is, there are many, many caregivers who are in the same boat - nobody else in the family, no other siblings seem to care. Why is this?

    The worst part is, there are nursing homes filled with elderly people who have children living in the same community who never even come to see them. Pop old mom or dad in a nursing home and forget they even exist. Go about your life.

    It seems it is mostly one daughter to care for the aging parents, if anyone does. So, my rant is directed to the men. When did you last call your elderly mom or dad to see if they needed any money for prescriptions, for the utilities, for food? When was the last time you took them out to a nice dinner somewhere? When was the last time you called just to say hello? When was the last time you offered to mow the grass? When was the last time you checked to see if they had decent running transportation? Or if they just wanted to go to Wal-Mart? Do you remember birthdays and holidays?

    If you live out of town and have a sibling doing the major caregiving, when was the last time you called that caregiver and asked if anything was needed? Doesn’t this all go along with honoring your mother and father?

    Will these words make you angry and go ZOOM over your head, or will there be some conviction as to your Christian walk and some repentence whereby you walk the walk, not just talk the talk, especially when it comes to the people who gave you life and raised you? (no matter if they were good or bad parents, they are still your parents)

    I don’t expect any responses. I don’t wish to debate. I am just broken hearted when I look around at elderly people and see the indifference of their children, especially among those who are supposedly Christians and supposedly walking with the Lord, yet neglect their own parents and parents' needs.

    Too busy, don’t have the time, or better yet, are so self-centered and myopic they would never even allow the thought to enter their shallow heads that maybe mom and dad might possibly NEED something. :(

    I know our society has changed and we no longer live like the Waltons. But is that an excuse for total neglect and selfishness and self-centeredness?

    I hope some of you men out there will take some of what I’ve said to heart. Please. Life is too short. I truly believe that part of living for the Lord is to look after the needs of your family, especially the elderly. We will ALL be elderly and have needs some day, if the Lord tarries. I do believe we reap what we sow.

    My rant is over. With a heavy heart, I sadly step down. :(
     
  2. Mike McK

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    (muttering to self): I will hold my tongue. I will hold my tongue. I will hold my tongue. I will hold my tongue...

    [ July 24, 2002, 06:01 PM: Message edited by: Smoke_Eater ]
     
  3. Brother Adam

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    Well, if I called my mom elderly I would probably get smacked up side the head. My dad has a full time job that brings in good money and I'm still living at home with them.

    Now, I can't at this point take care of my parents but I do what I can to respect my elderly and talk to them and help them with some of the little necessities in life when I can.

    Ageism is a problem in America, and I hope that as Christians we can help fight this problem with loving hearts to take care of not only our parents but others who have no children.

    Bro. Adam
     
  4. tyndale1946

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    You are right we do reap what we sow... And what goes around comes around. I can't speak for anyone else but my brother tends to my mothers fanacial needs and takes her to the store as he lives about two blocks from her. My Dad made those arrangements before he passed away six years ago. I live about seven miles from Mom and we visit her quite a lot. My other two siblings live out of state a brother in Arizona and a sister in Chicago. Mom and I also go to the same church so I see her frequently and know how she is and take her to the doctor when she has an appointment.

    I can't speak for any other man but do know these things go on and hope my children think kindly of me if I ever get in that condition. I know there are others that will speak the Bible but living it is another thing. I'm not pointing to anyone on this board I'm just relating past experiences. I'm sorry but that seems to be society and the way things are. I have two handicapped children and have seen men leave their families when their children were born with a handicap. Love takes many shapes and caring for those that cared for us we shouldn't question. Why is it that those that have the least... IMHO... treat there fellow men different than those that have the most. Seems to me those that have the least know where their blessings come from... Anyway thats how I see it!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  5. SueLyn

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    Well...not all men are like the ones you mentioned. My father will be 80, and my mother will be 76 next month. My father does not work, he putters mostly now, my brother and his family live on the same property and take care of the family farm now. My mother does work outside of the home, full time, she would go stir crazy if you tried to make her stay at home. My parents planned very well for their senior years, money is not a problem for them and they have excellent health coverage also.
    On the other hand, I do know what you are talking about. My mother had surgery this past June, while in the hospital and after she finally came home from the hospital, I went to their home everyday to clean, cook and change her bandage. I live one hour away from them, so this was a two hour drive daily for me. I have an older sister, ten years older than me, that lives in the same town and works as a care giver but for some reason, giving care to her own parents isn't on her list of things to do. ;) My brother's wife helped me with chores around my parents home, she is a sweetheart. I also have another older sister, she lives two hours away, she came to check on mother just once while she was still in the hospital. And there is another brother, older, he lives in South Texas, at least a 12 to 14 drive from here, he came once while mother was still in the hospital. In other words, there are only two of us that are there when our parents need help with anything at all, the other three children are always just too busy with their own lives, their children's lives, or their grandchildren's lives. My brother and myself also carried the financial load when we had our parents 50th Anniversary eight years ago but we included the other three children and our parents know nothing about the cost or who paid for what, nor should they know. My father's 80th birthday is the 6th of August, I'll get the cake, send the invitations, prepare the food, decorate with some help from my brother's wife only, that's just the way it is, just because the others don't get involved with my parents doesn't mean I shouldn't get involved nor do I complain to my parents or my other brother and sisters. I think that this type of thing is pretty normal compared with other families.
    I love my mom and dad, I do what I do because of that love and they would and have done the same for me. :D As long as they have my brother and myself, they are happy.
    Sue
     
  6. Graceforever

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    Eaglelives911, it seems that you have struck a nerve on this subject.... You’re right of course, in every thing that you’re saying and doing...

    Although, you can't help what others are doing, speaking of other siblings, you are doing everything in your power…. God will honor you for that effort... You might not be rewarded in this life, as far as comfort and luxuries, but you will be compensated in the life to come...

    The bible tells us to do all things without, murmuring, complaining, grumbling, which is hard for me to do sometimes...

    We forget that the bible tells us what the true and undefiled religion is, to visit the widows and orphans….. Jesus says to preach to the poor, give and it will be given you…. For this way you know that you have the love of God dwelling in you… If you see someone in need and shut up your bowels of compassion, how does the love dwell with you? We know the story of the good Samaritan… Giving of your time and money is the true gift that one can give another in the name of Christ…

    However, we offer our bodies as a whole sacrifice.... If we do it all with love and patience, we will reap, just as Lazarus did...

    I will pray for you... You have caused me to seriously think about my shortcomings as a Christian.... Thanks....
     
  7. donnA

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    My mom is only 60, and pretty well takes care fo herself. My brother lives with her, and they both have disability(he has a sever learning disability, can't read and write). My other brother did live at home and take care of them but he got married in April and now does just about nothing for them. I take her to the store, and if she needs any extra I give it too her, my husband makes most of her little repairs, and other heavy things I can't do.
     
  8. Johnv

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    I believe the commandment "Honor Your Father and Mother" does not cease upon you moving out. My mother is 67, and if she were to call me tomorrow and says she wants me to do something (and it's not immoral,illegal, or fattening), then I'm Commandment-bound to do it, whether I like it or not. Jesus demonstrated this with the miracle of the water into wine. It was done at his mother's behest.

    If and/or when my mother requires help to live a normal daily life, I'll be duty bound to assist her. She sacrificed for me for my first 18 years, and it's only appropriate for me to do the same in her final 18 years.
     
  9. LadyEagle

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    Sheesh, smoke-eather, like we don't know you're a first responder & risk your life every day! I'm sure my rant doesn't apply to you cause your very profession SCREAMS out "caregiver!" ;)

    Oh no! Not that! :eek: I have no doubt when the time does come, you will be a very attentive son! Seriously.

    God Bless You, Brother Glen, you have a big heart and your post made me cry. God will reward you too, & I agree with everything you posted. [​IMG]

    You're right, of course. I know of a young man (about 34) who made a 45 minute trip one way to the nursing home EVERY Sunday, picked my frail dad up, lifted him into a wheelchair, wheeled him to the car, took him to church, lifted him back, took him back to the nursing home, and then drove the 45 minutes back home to eat Sunday dinner with his family! (I lived 600 miles away at the time.) Tell me, this young man won't receive a SPECIAL reward in Heaven! There is nothing I could ever do to repay him for his kindness & goodness. But God is keeping the books! Amen? How many young men are like that?

    Graceforever: Your whole post made me cry! I was still sobbing from Bro. Glen's, but your's topped it off! You're right, of course, in everything you posted. I am not complaining about looking after my mother and I know God will reward me someday, and I don't even care about that. What I do is out of love for my mother, and out of a greatful heart to the Lord. For I know that all I have has come from His hands! Thank you for your post. I just pray somebody's heart will be touched by this subject.

    Katie, God will bless you for looking after your mom (and hubbie, too)! You can't outgive the Lord!

    I wish more men felt like you do, Johnv. And I wish more men would stop & just think about what their own mom & dad might be feeling when they don't hear from their children...ya know, kinda like that old Cat in the Cradle song? And I wish more preachers would be brave enough to preach on this topic once in awhile (besides the usual Father's Day message). Amen? :(
     
  10. Mike McK

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    Sheesh, smoke-eater, like we don't know you're a first responder & risk your life every day! I'm sure my rant doesn't apply to you cause your very profession SCREAMS out "caregiver!" ;) </font>[/QUOTE]LOL... :cool:

    That's not what I meant, Eagle, but thank you for the thought.

    Aw, shoot! Now I can't yell at you. :D

    Seriously, I'm sorry that the people you've come in contact with have given you such a bad taste, but there really are a lot of men who step up to the plate when needed. Maybe a lot more than you realize.

    BTW, I'm not a first responder anymore (only temporary, I hope) so right now, the only life threatening thing I'm dealing with is a nasty case of poison ivy on top of sunburn. Either one is bad enough but the two of them together are almost unbearable.
     
  11. LadyEagle

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    From one caregiver to another....kiss / kiss...hope that'll make it all better! :D ;)
     
  12. latterrain77

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    The Bible directs us to HONOR our parents (Exo. 20:12, Deut. 5: 16, Eph. 6: 1). Jesus encountered a group of religious rulers who did not understand this truth about parents - and the LORD set the record straight on the matter (Mark 7: 10-13).

    There are instances where some parents were less than perfect at the task of parenting. The Bible reminds Dads NOT to anger their children, and to raise them in the way of the LORD (Eph. 6: 4).

    Some children, once grown, hold bitter anger, and resentment towards their parents (for a myriad of reasons). Other times, no such hostility exists, but the children become so engrossed in their own lives, that they fail to understand the Biblical truth on this subject.

    Therefore, it is a duty and obligation of the church community, particularly pastors, to act as "peacemakers" in such situations (Matt. 5: 9). They should work diligently toward the possibility of bringing harmony to those involved in a parent/child crisis. The ball is in the pastor's court on this one.

    latterrain77
     
  13. Scarlett O.

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    Eaglelives911-

    As I am typing this, I have an invalid and Alzheimer's ridden grandmother who lives not too far from me. She is 91 and basically bedridden.

    Who is spending the night with her? My uncle. My grandmother has 5 primary caregivers. My mother, two aunts, and two uncles. Each one takes a day and night of the week. They hire a sitter for the weekend.

    I try to give my mother some relief on her day and my other cousins try to do the same when it's their folk's turn.

    Each person, when there at her house, feeds her, bathes her, changes her diapers, talks to her, and agrees with her every time she says silly things.

    My two uncles do everything that my mother and two aunts do.

    I know that all men don't take care of their aged parents in the same way that women do, but that's just how life is. I really don't think it has anything to do with honoring their parents. I think that maybe they just don't know what to do sometimes.

    I understand your angst and frustration. And you make a valid point. But it's just not that black and white.

    Peace-

    YSIC
    Scarlett O.
    &lt;&gt;&lt;
     
  14. Bible Believing Bill

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    Lets not lump all Men together. Right now my parents are doing very well on their own. The have saved for their retirement and they are enjoying it.

    Now the exact oppisit of what you describe happened with my Grandmother. When my Grandmother had a stroke, my father took her into his home and he took care of her. Yes it was Dad as he was retired at the time and Mom was still working. At any rate Dad's two sisters did basicly NOTHING to help. They visited occasionally but that was it. One of his sister's wanted to put her in a nursing home, and the other was just plain neurtal. When things got more difficult Dad hired a caregiver to come in durring the day, he still handeled the evenings and nights. When that became too much he finally put her into a nursing home. She died within a week of that. I know without a doubt that it really bothers him that he didn't hold out that final week.

    When the time comes to take care of my parents, I will honor my father and follow the example he set for me.

    Bill
     
  15. AVL1984

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    I am a 40 year old male who is disabled. My wife provides for my family, though I do draw my SS Disability. My mother is a 60 year old widow who had no life insurance on my father when he died. Their plots were paid for, and the funeral was partially paid for. My father was lived with cancer for 3 years from the day of diagnosis. He was one of those who believed he was invincible and was never going to die. My brother in law and sister allowed them to build a small apt in their basement where they lived for most of that three years. There were six of us children.

    With two of us disabled (I have a younger sister who is also disabled), one of my brother's has had to step in and help provide for my mother. She works a full time job. But I, even with disability, and my other siblings ALL try to help provide for her, even if it's just a phone card, or a certificate for a dinner several times a year. My brother provides an apartment for her now. We are all pretty poor money wise, but we are honest, and work to provide for our families as best we can, whether we're disabled or not. Anyone who doesn't make any kind of effort to help their parents when they are older should be shot, not matter how bad their parents were. That's just one man's opinion.

    B.T.

    :eek:
     
  16. DocCas

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    Amen Bill. That is very good advice. My dad died 23 years ago, but my mother is doing quite well at 97. About 10 years ago we moved her into the house next door so we could keep a closer eye on her. She still lives alone, but we are close enough to check on her several times a day, and can help her any time she needs something done. We also pay her utility bills and other expenses even though my dad left her a modest legacy. We also include her in our social activities. She loves to go out for lunch on Sundays after the morning service.

    If all the men you know neglect their parents they are worse than unbelievers!

    1 Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
     
  17. Helen

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    I'm 54 and a grandmother of three now. I have an artificial knee that is 22 years old and my leg is starting to stiffen up sometimes. I have arthritis in my thumbs and big toes (!) and some major surgery coming up in January. I'll be in bed for about two months after.

    Yes, I need help. Especially since my husband has to spend a lot of time with HIS invalid sister in Australia!

    Who helps the most? My oldest son! He even has a special saving account for "mom's emergencies" so that we can meet any crisis. Next in line is my youngest daughter, who is a senior in high school and jammed with her own life, but will drop anything without me asking if she thinks my youngest son, who is profoundly retarded is 'getting to me' and I need a break. Sometimes I have to almost demand she go about her own business! (Now, if she could only learn to clean her room.... :D )

    My second son is brain damaged and because the only work he can do is day labor, has hurt his back badly and is waiting for disability so he can get the surgery he needs. My heart aches for him. There is no way he can help.

    Daughter #1 and son #3 are in rebellion right now, at ages 23 and 20. This, too, shall pass.

    But my kids care -- possibly because we all have cared for MY mother who is 81 now and just came flying through major back surgery like a champ!

    Caring is learned. It just doesn't happen like a weed in a garden. It is a cultivated plant. I taught my children to care. I taught them to be involved. And that may be a big key to the issue in a lot of ways.

    I understand the frustration and pain of seeing elderly folks unattended by their children. And I cannot speak for every situation, obviously -- some kids turn out rotten no matter what -- but I wonder if there are not two sides to some of these stories. Maybe mommy and daddy both worked and the child had to learn to think of and for himself. That is what he learned to do. He is still doing it as an adult, and the lack of time and care his parents gave him is being returned, probably unconsciously, to them in spades.

    I'm not trying to judge; but maybe that is the point of my post altogether, too. Sometimes there is more than we know going on. My mom has gotten so cranky that there is one of my sisters she doesn't want to see at all! Should that sister be blamed for honoring my mother's wishes? All my mom does when my sister is around is bring up all the bad things my sister ever did! Why, I don't know. But if I were my sister, I wouldn't mind staying away either!
     
  18. crazycat

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    I know in the case of my family. When my father died my mother lost everything, and the house. My older sister and two brothers are the only ones that live in the same town as her. My mother works fulltime job but still has several bills to pay so my oldest sister took her in, my second to the oldest paid all of my fathers funeral expense. My husband I helped finanacially wherever we could like giving her money to pay credit card debot and hospital bills. My older brother is a louse so no help there. My baby brother just had a baby and no high school diploma bearly making it and could not help.
    I am a nurse and I have offered to care for her when she gets too old to care for herself, she is currently 57 but looks like she is going on 70. The thing is she has to be willing to move in with us. That means leave the towm she has always lived in and friends and family she has always known. That I don't know if she can do. My husband has tried to find a job in the city in the past, but was unable too. This same offer has also been extended to his mother as well. His parents are divorced and Father is remarried, however I would care 4 his butthead dad, but I believe this man is way too prideful to let family do that.

    Sometimes it is the parents that refuse to move. You cant ask your kids to leave a $80,000 job to move if there is no work in that area, otherwise who will take care of the kids anf=d their family?

    :confused:
     
  19. LadyEagle

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    That is not the intent of my post, guys! :eek: I hope it didn't come out that way!

    Yes, I know old people can be stubborn, refuse to move, etc. And I know some people had less than perfect childhoods. But those are excuses, not reasons, for neglecting one's parents!

    Look at the examples originally posted.....all were raised in "Christian" homes, taught Christian values, shown about caring for their older relatives by their parents. And to refer to what my friend said, how can all these siblings be raised in the same house with the same values and turn out so differently? :eek:

    Probably all of you who have posted so far are living examples of Christ living in us and honoring our parents as we are supposed to do. Those who have their own hearts pricked and conscience seared will probably never post! But that's okay. I believe it is a subject that needs addressed and it makes my heart sad. Have you ever been involved in a nursing home ministry? Most of the residents there (in any given nursing home) are HUNGRY for companionship or exchange of kindness from the outside world! To give them a simple stuffed animal is a precious gift! Some carry it or attach it to their person in some way to be a constant companion. And some have relatives living in the same community who never see them! It is a travesty! Heartbreaking!

    But where is the preaching from the pulpits on this subject? Look around at ALL the people and families you know, not just your own personal family level, but generally speaking and see if you don't find more examples of what I posted about. If the Church was really doing all the Church is supposed to be doing, there would be sermons about family/ elder responsibilities, elder abuse and neglect would not be such a big social problem! And look at the loneliness aspect, as well.

    My feelings about this are thus: There are two kinds of people in this world....givers & takers. Period.

    And if someone has been born-again and walks the walk, not just talks the talk, they will become a giver, (following the example of Jesus), especially when it comes to taking care of family. Amen?
     
  20. hrhema

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    There are so many different circumstances that people face that makes it tough for them to be willing to take care of their parents.

    Some had very unloving and uncaring parents. Even though we are commanded to forgive it is very hard for some people to get past their past.

    Then you have those who showed favortism. The non favorites do not want anything to do now with their parents. On the other hand you have parents who won't accept help from any but the favorite kid. Parents should think long and hard about their futures but many do not.

    In my first marriage my mother in law was very rude and ugly to me for many years. Family members warned her that she ought to treat me better because she did not know what her future held for her and one day she might have to depend on me. How prophetic that was.

    In 1991 she went in to have back surgery but was not a candidate for the surgery but the neurosurgeon did not look at her post op tests before he ordered a myleogram. When you are going to do ruptured disc surgery and do a myleogram you have to immediately do the surgery afterwards are it can paralyze you. Since she would have died on the operating table she ended up coming out in a wheel chair. Doctors etc kept telling the family she needs to be put in a home at least until she could learn how to do things for herself but my then wife refused to do so. She told me she would help her mom for 60 days then come back home. Well the 60 days turned to 4 years of her living with mom and me living alone in our home. I did not file for divorce but kept doing all I could to help. Taking care of my home and two yards.

    In 95 she won her law suit against the doctor and built an addition to her home and I moved in. Granted it was tough putting our home up for sale and moving in with this woman who had treated me so badly. For four years I worked hard.

    During this time my then wife started reacting very badly to taking care of her mother. She started resenting it and ended up on mood pills and then decided to run around on me.

    I found out that the reason her mom had been so bad to me was that she had been telling her a bunch of lies about me and when her mom was around me daily she saw the real me. I ended up being her main care taker for about 2 years until she passed away.

    My parents showed favortism to my sister that I was raised with. In 91 when she got divorced they moved her and my nephew to the city they lived in and began this enabling process where she no longer would work. From the time my nephew was born they practically raised him financially even though his dad and mom both worked at times.

    My sister started having all these so called medical problems she used as an excuse not to work or she didn't want to work while my nephew was in school. She would get some food stamps and a little welfare check. My parents would pay bills for her and rent and help with food. Put the kid through school while she laid around and slept most of the day instead of getting out and working. She always has back problems or blood pressure problems or knee problems. These are her excuses why she cannot hold a job or do house or yard work. Yet, I have a ruptured disk, sciatic nerve damage, carpal tunnel problems and damaged nerves in both feet and I have blood pressure problems but I go to work daily. Work in the yard and cook and clean in the house.
    My Dad is now deceased and my mom is still supporting her on her $750 ss check.

    My sister has written hot checks forging my name. Got utilities in my name. Tried to get other credit items in my name and my mom will lie for her and say she is not guilty even though I have the proof. My other sister and I had offered to allow my mom to live with us and get away from this sister but she refuses and even has tried to write us out of her life. So you see parents are not innocent in a lot of cases so you should not judge people unless you know both sides of the stories.
     

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