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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Sibling(s) (05/01/08)

TITLE: What Happened
By Florence Roberts
05/07/08


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This morning my sister and I abruptly ended a conversation with our brother in Harare, South Africa. We were talking about finances associated with our 91 year old mother's care.When our brother suddenly hanged up the phone, my sister said, "that's it, this is the last time he will do this to us again," indicating she will no longer talk to him. This was about the fifth time he had hanged up on us during an international call with questions about family finances.

A sad conversation followed between my sister and I. We talked about our childhood days in Africa, in the small seaside town where five of us children lived with our parents. We shared memories about school days , sunday school experiences, our adventures in the fruit orchards and some of our happiest times on the beach, which was only yards from our house. Our parents' greatest wish was for us to stay close, love and support eachother. Where was the love and closeness we felt then? Had we lost it all?

Our father passed away some years ago. After that our mother came to live with us in London for 11 years. She missed her home and had gone back to Africa with the promise that our brothers would provide for her care. Our father left two homes, their primary residence and a rental duplex in one of the best locations in Harare. The rent from this property could take care of mother's expenses.

Things were different when mother got home. There had been no accountability for the rents for the past eleven years. Our other brother who never left home, now occupied three bedrooms out of four with his wife and grown son. He has never paid any rent to our mother and gets upset when she asks him for anything. My sister and I continue to pay someone to take care of our mother and send money for her care. Our other brother who collects the rents from the rental property gives part of it to our mother under the guise that what he gives is from his own money.

Meanwhile something bitter has developed between the brothers and the sisters. Our brothers refer to us as "those abroad." They refuse to answer questions about family finances and will prevent these even if it means we will not talk anymore.

What has happened to us, what has happened to our parents' greatest wish? Have we permitted greed to steal the most valuable quality we shared? Could greed ever be truimphant over LOVE?


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This article has been read 453 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Yvonne Blake 05/08/08
Ahhh, so sad! Here's hoping that you and your brother revive your childhood relationship.
I liked the description of your memories.
Keep writing.
Esther Gellert05/14/08
Oh, how heart breaking this story is. I hope there will come a time when brothers and sisters can be reunited and share some of those precious childhood memories. Thankyou for opening your heart and sharing with us.