Monday, October 26, 2009

Caught in the Middle

My cellphone died as I was talking to my brother about dad's house and how mom is insane. He called me seconds after a phone call with her. Mom called me five minutes later, while I was still on the phone with brother. All they want to do is tell me how the other one is wrong and/or crazy.

I resisted the urge to plug the phone in right after it died and hover next to the wall while mediating between the two. Instead, I plugged it in and left. it. off. Off. Off. Off.

I will deal with them when I'm good and damn ready to, and so the phone has been off all afternoon while I scrubbed mold off of pots and pans that have been left in my sink for weeks.

My mother can't sit still. And my brother gets aggravated when she does stuff he doesn't entirely agree with. And me? I feel like the freakin peacemaker. But I'm too exhausted to be the peacemaker right now.

Mom is at my dad's house, pulling up carpet in the basement. We found the basement flooded on Friday night, after Momom's funeral. It was the hot water heater - it had been leaking for weeks and weeks and since nobody has been living there, nobody noticed. So we dried it out and that's all I wanted to do. I'm not ready to pull up carpet, or put furniture out to the trash, or take things to the Goodwill. I want to sit and chill and think and reflect. She wants to tackle and clean and do. My brother? I'm not sure what he wants to do, but its probably somewhere in between. He wants to get a big dumpster and just get rid of stuff. Mom wants to put it out for the trash slowly. I want to get all my friends over to the house and say "have at it." That requires a dumpster. We can clear that house out in a day, if we wanted to.

Thing is, I don't want to yet. Brother doesn't want to yet. But mom? Mom wants to stay busy. And by staying busy, she is avoiding feeling the grief that I know needs to be felt.

So, Dad has been dead for less than four days, and tensions are already rising about what to do with the house. And I'm caught in the middle. I don't want to hurt Mom's feelings by telling her to lay off, but I'm going to have to. And I hate the thought of telling her stuff she doesn't want to hear so soon after her mom died. But what else can I do?

And so, the phone is off. Maybe I'll turn it on later.

2 comments:

Janet said...

Ah, turn it on when you're good and ready. You have a right to deal with things in your own time and in your own way.

Jen said...

I agree with Janet...you need time to process in your own way. We had similar familial problems when my grandmother died last summer and honestly, some of them are not resolved even now. So I'm not much help in the way of suggestions but just know I feel for you and I'm sorry.