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I’m the youngest of three kids. I have two older brothers. My oldest brother (Steve) lives in San Jose, is married and does not have any children. My other brother (Mike) lives near me and is mentally retarded.

Our parents passed away nine years ago and I took on the responsibility of taking care and overseeing Mike’s care.  

Mike had been living in the same board and care for many years. He was very happy there. They had a change in “house moms” one year and this woman began making changes that Mike couldn’t deal with very well. Mike has difficulty communicating and when he gets frustrated sometimes he can get violent. This woman felt she couldn’t handle Mike anymore and informed me that he was going to be evicted.

I was so stressed as I had never dealt before with having to find a new residence for Mike. I called Steve to let him know what was going on. Out of curiosity, I asked Steve if he would be up for having Mike move to San Jose fully expecting that he would be up for it. He told me he’d have to discuss it with his wife and he would get back to me.  

I talked to him the next day and he said that they didn’t feel they could handle the extra responsibility. HUH??? This was my first experience with how selfish he had become.

I did the groundwork and found Mike a new place to live. Personally, I’d rather have him near me. The kicker was that he needed to move on June 1st which was a Thursday. I was going to be in New Orleans. I told Steve that he would need to come down and be in charge of the move. He told me that he wasn’t sure if he could get the time off. HUH???

Steve and his wife take month long trips every year. He makes a lot of money and he can’t take 2 days off work??

I told him that I was going to be out of the state and he would HAVE to do it. He ended up coming through. He drove down Thursday morning, moved Mike and drove home that night.

He called me on my cell while I was in New Orleans to let me know that the move was complete. He put Mike on the phone. He seemed pretty happy about his new digs. After the call, I cried like a baby because I had been so stressed about the move. I was so stressed that I had developed a NASTY sinus infection. My roommate on the trip was there and gave me a big hug as I cried on her shoulder.

That was about 2.5 years ago and as time has gone on, Steve has pretty much stopped coming around for visits. Mike is incapable of understanding why his older brother isn’t around much anymore. It breaks my heart. I have learned that Steve’s wife just doesn’t like to visit as she claims there isn’t much to do here. HUH?? I live in Southern California. We could go non stop for 48 hours and not run out of things to do!!

It’s amazing that two people raised by the same parents can be so different.

Sack up and come visit your brother!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Shereen Rolle wrote Nov 9, 2008
    • Sometimes people canbe so selfish.  My older brother is selfish, as longas he can recieve it’s fine, but it’s a big deal for him to give.  (not necessarily financially).

      GOD is going to BLESS you for everything that you have done, are doing, and are about to do.  Mike I am sure is very grateful to have you in his corner.

      One day, Steve will come around (emotionally) and realize what he has been missing, I hope it will not be a dy too late.  Family is everything, family should be treasured, and held close to the heart.  His wife is  “just” his wife what if she walks away? then what?....Family is all we have man....Blood they say, supposed to be thicker than water...
      I am sure your parents must be disappointed



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Inakika wrote Nov 9, 2008
    • How selfish and sad. Steve should be ashamed of himself.
      My mom is taking care of my 87 year old grandmother who has dementia. Do you think my moms sister offers any help? But let something happen to my grandmother and she will be the first person waiting for whatever is to come her way.
      But you know Vigirl, what comes around goes around.....
      Your brother is blessed to have you.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Michelle Rowe wrote Nov 9, 2008
    • I’m sure if my parents were alive they would be very disappointed!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cassandra wrote Nov 16, 2008
    • Mike is so lucky to have a sister like you .Steve and his wife don,t understand how lucky they are to have you and Mike in there lives . They just don’t see the love....but you do and you shine .
      Cheers,
      Cassandra~



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Michelle Rowe wrote Nov 16, 2008
    • Thank you so much for the kind words, Cassandra.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linni wrote Nov 17, 2008
    • vigirl, i agree with all the posts here.. you have been a blessing to your brother Mike! keep doing what you are doing!  you will get your blessing!
      see,s like your brothers wife wears the pants in the family.. when brothers change like that its usually because of thier wife.. sadly, it affect family relations.. like it was stated: what comes around goes around.
      Gods blessings to you!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marie Hempsey wrote Nov 17, 2008
    • I am right there with you. In 2002 my mentally and physically challenged Uncle asked to come live with me. He lived alone  since my grandmom died in 1982 and had a job as a copy boy ( man)for many years. He had lead poisoning whe he was 28 and never quiet recovered mentally, he has about an 11 year old mentality. He retired in 2000 and then was diagnosed with cancer and had to have surgery. he could not take care of himself well after this. Over the next year and a half he got slower and slower ( he lost a part of his leg as he had skin cancer there , but they got it all and he is fine in that aspect...cancer free) But he could no longer care for himslef. Now he only has one older brother, who is well into his 80’s so he could not go there. I have literally a dozen cousins and a brother all related to this man the same way and only one of them, my cousin Mare, come to see him and help me out if i need help with him. She takes him to doc appointments and comes to cut his hair and has even had him come and stay with her a few times when we were remodleing and he would be displaced. But..that is it. It is a chore to get this 79 year old man out of th e house, He cannot cook, so there always has to be something “ready “for him to eat if we are going to be out...which is alot, we are very active in our community and that is besides our jobs. I have asked several of my cousins and my brother, who all live near by and could accomodate him if he could come stay with them when we want to go on vacations and stuff and no one can ever do it. From my one cousin i got a big ...NO WAY. What the f.
      Sorry but i can definitely realte. He is a sweetheart and I love him but i am getting closer and closer to putting him n a home if we can even afford it...i have never looked into it, but my husband is really looking forward to us having our freedom since the kids are pretty much grown now and is starting to feel a bit resentful becasue we are limited in what we can do becasue he is here. My kdis help out wiht him alot but it really isn’t fair for them either. Sorry for the long rant but...you started it...LOL
      Take Care and know you are not in this alone. You are a giver, i am a giver and it seems we don’t always get the help we need but i woudln’t stop giving becasue of that.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linni wrote Nov 17, 2008
    • you both ( vigirl, and Ree ) are how people should be! i give you both kudo’s for a job well done! what a blessing you are to family members, and to US!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Bobbi Bacha wrote Nov 17, 2008
    • I think Vigirl, your the strong one in your family.. there is always one that stands above the rest.  Rarely is is all.  Your going to have to realize he loves his brother too and is just not as strong as you on your level and its unfortunate that you are the one left with all the responsiblities, but also it could be your destiny to do so.  Dont be angry at your brothers shortcomings... just try to look at it as a short coming.  Sounds like you want your brother near you anyway.   Good luck in this.



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