Sunday, August 26, 2012

Playing Center

Yesterday my plans got all switched around.  My dad called me and asked if I could come down in the afternoon to help my aunt with my grandfather since he and my brother weren't going to be home.  So of course I said I would come and help out, that's what family does, right?  So I went for a nice 4 1/2 mile walk before heading into work for a few hours, then it was off to Bergen County.

Now if you remember (I don't feel like surfing through my old posts to put a link) my grandad fell and broke his hip back in April and has been back and forth between the hospital and the rehab center with a whole bunch of problems ever since.  Well he finally came home last week but he needs 24/7 care.  He still can't walk, the poor guy can't even sit up by himself.  And my dad and his siblings can't afford to put him in a home or hire a private nurse (medicare and the VA will only pay for 16hrs of private nursing PER WEEK, wtf is that?) so it's up to my aunt, dad, and brother to take care of him.  You can just imagine how tired and tense everyone is over there.

I spend the night down there since I was supposed to come down for lunch today anyway and I had to pick up the kids from P's house which is in between my house and my dad's.  Well my dad had called me earlier this week wanting me to talk to my brother about his attitude towards helping out with grandad.  Apparently he helps but not without a lot of complaining.  I get it, it's not pleasant, no one really WANTS to do all the stuff for grandad, but it needs to be done.  My brother gets back last night and starts complaining that dad doesn't treat him like an adult and that he just changes plans all the time and expects A (my brother) to just accomidate these changes.  These two are always butting heads.  So this morning I got to play referee as usual.

The problem is this.  They're both right, and they are both hot tempered and stubborn.  Dad is right that A should totally help out more since he is living there, dad still gives him money when he needs it and pays for things for him, and also it's family, you need to suck it up.  A is right, dad needs to keep A aware of his plans and not make demands of him.  Like instead of saying to my brother "A, you're going to do this, if you don't like it, tough shit," he needs to say, "Hey A, I could really use your help with this, would you mind?"  And my brother will be more than happy to help out, he just wants to be asked and treated like an adult.  But they can't have a conversation because they both get super defensive and start interrupting eachother and yelling over eachother and it's no good.  Add in the stress of having to take care of grandad and it's a disaster.  So it's up to me to help them actually communicate.  Fun, fun times.

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