The recent declining health and illness of my father has put a magnifying glass upon my parents and all connecting relationships like never before. In a series of telephone calls between my brothers and I, we have conducted therapy/poker sessions. "I see your paternal disconnection and raise you mom's co-dependence." It's almost become a one-upmanship of scarred childhood memories. It's terribly sad but met with loving sarcasm, if there is such a thing. Sometimes it is just so absurd, that all you can do is laugh.
Have you ever watched Christopher Titus "Norman Rockwell is Bleeding"? That is a portrayal of my father. "The Anti-Dad" But his dad at least had cool cars.
Here is the thing about my folks. In two examples, I can clearly define their relationship:
My dad was recently transported to the hospital at 8 in the morning by ambulance. My mother calls, in snot and tears, and needs me to come down to take her to the hospital. While I am driving down (it's a 45 minute trip) my cell rings. It's my mother. "Do I have time to take shower?" she asks. Sure, mom, why not?
I am NOT making this up.
My dad had surgery. It was a major surgery as he had a perferation in his bowel. They kept him in a medically induced coma for a while as he was on a respirator. The nurse told my mom that while he was under, mom could still touch and talk to him and he would probably know that she was there. So, my mom took his hand and talked to him.
He took his hand away.
When the nurse looked at my mom with a puzzled glance, my mom says "Well, he never did like holding hands."
And that is the thing about my folks.